Claartje Rasterhoff

As a historian, I’m fascinated by the question of why some places or times have witnessed extraordinary creative achievements, from Renaissance Italy, through the Dutch Golden Age and fin de siècle Europe, to twentieth-century New York. Since 2007, I’ve explored this question in my research and teaching on art markets and creative industries between 1600 and the present, at the departments of History (Utrecht University), Arts & Culture (Erasmus University Rotterdam), and Urban Studies and Media & Culture (University of Amsterdam). I’m particularly interested in the relation between artistic objects and the historical context in which they were produced, distributed, and consumed, and the historical roots of contemporary artistic and cultural activities, in the Netherlands and beyond.

2014-present. My research project The New Normal. Standards of Quality and Intermediaries in Creative Industries: Dutch Design 1850-2000 is funded by the program Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective. In this research I study the evolution of Dutch Design as a successful creative industry and an artistic trademark.

2011-2013. As a postdoctoral researcher in the research project Cultural Transmissions and Artistic Exchange in the Low Countries, I studied the organization of Dutch-Flemish art trade, and the role of Antwerp art dealers in mediating trade and taste in the international early modern art world.

2007-2011. In my dissertation The Fabric of Creativity in the Dutch Republic. Dutch Painting and Publishing as Cultural Industries, 1580-1800 (AUP 2016) I analyzed the role of local industrial organization in the rise and demise of early modern Dutch cultural industries. This research was part of a broader research project, led by Robert Kloosterman and Maarten Prak: Places and their Culture. The Evolution of Dutch Cultural Industries from an International Perspective, 1600-2000.


Claartje RasterhoffClaartje Rasterhoff