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Henk van Os, Professor of Art and Society at the University of Amsterdam, received the Distinguished ‘Stapenning’ Honorary Award during a special symposium on Thursday, 28 February. Presenting the award was Louise Gunning, President of the Executive Board of the UvA-HvA.

Stapenning for Univesity Professor Henk van Os
Henk van Os receives the 'Stapenning' Honorary Award from Louise Gunning

During the symposium ‘Art and Society’, which was organised in honour of the art historian’s 75th birthday, Van Os was awarded the Distinguished ‘Stapenning’ Honorary Award on account of his exceptional contribution to the UvA. Van Os has introduced a large public to art history over the years, such as via the public lectures of the Illustere School, which were a huge success. Van Os has also made art history accessible to everyone in the Netherlands through his popular television programmes Museumschatten and Beeldenstorm.

The Distinguished ‘Stapenning’ Honorary Award is the UvA’s highest distinction, and is presented to individuals who have not only made an exceptional contribution to the University, but who have also been active within a social and executive context. Van Os is only the fourth person to receive this distinction since 2006.

Henk van Os Fund

The end of the symposium saw Henk van Os formally announcing the creation of the Henk van Os Fund, which will award student exchange grants to students and PhD researchers at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam. By creating such a fund, Van Os aims to make an important contribution to the academic growth and personal development of students and PhD researchers. The most notable aspect of the fund is that it has been established from the registration fees paid for the lectures Van Os delivered at the UvA’s Illustere School. 

About Henk van Os 

Henk van Os was appointed Professor of Art and Cultural History at the University of Groningen in 1974, and in 1984 became dean of the University's Faculty of Arts. Between 1989 and 1996 Van Os was the general director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and in 1996 he was appointed Professor of the Art and Society Chair at the University of Amsterdam. Van Os regularly gives guest lectures at various international universities, such as Smith College Northampton (US), the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich and the Harvard Centre for Renaisscance Studies in Florence.