Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art has recently come to examine the origins of its name, drawn in 1990 from the street on which it is situated, and Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With (1599 – 1658), a Dutch naval officer engaged in colonial exploits. Attention has been drawn to our operating under such a name in a field of contemporary art practice that claims criticality, and the fact of this blind spot in our institutional history and self-awareness.
Witte de With is a public institution in the field of contemporary art and its related discourses. Critical reflection on timely issues through curated exhibitions, theoretical and educational programs and a bold publishing arm is core to its mission.
Established in 1990 and with Rotterdam as its homebase, Witte de With acts as a dedicated platform for emerging and established artists, curators, and writers from across the globe. The question of how to define the institution’s role in relation to developments in contemporary art is continually revisited, with every Director and her team making their mark, every 3-6 years. As such, Witte de With’s programs continue to provide access to diverse practices on an ongoing basis and consider how not only contemporary art, but also an institution, is represented and perceived by diverse audiences today.