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Xander Karskens

Xander Karskens, curator de Hallen, Haarlem, http://www.dehallenhaarlem.nl

Xander Karskens 1973, Breda

Art historian. Gallery director at Galerie Fons Welters and curator of project space 'Playstation' from 2002-2005. Interim curator at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam in 2005. Presently curator contemporary art at De Hallen Haarlem. Freelance writer.


De Hallen Haarlem, located in the town’s central shopping district, is housed in the historic Verweyhal and Vleeshal. It presents contemporary art exhibitions along with a regular selection from the Frans Hals Museum’s rich collection of old masters and modern art.

The Verweyhal was built in 1879-1800 for the gentlemen’s club Trou moet blijcken (''Loyalty must be proven’). The architect A.J. van Beek was responsible for its neoclassical design. In 1922, the building was sold to the town government, and in 1992 it became an exhibition space and was renamed after the celebrated Haarlem painter Kees Verwey (1990-1995).

The Vleeshal is one of the pinnacles of Dutch Renaissance architecture. It was designed by Lieven de Key, Haarlem’s town architect, and built between 1602 and 1604. The ox heads on the façade are a memento of the building’s original purpose; it was the only place in Haarlem where meat could be sold. After 1840, it was used by the National Archives and the town library. It has served as an exhibition space since 1950.

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