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The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) announces the endowment of its executive director position by Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, long-time PEM supporters and world-renowned collectors of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art. Dan L. Monroe and his successors will be known as The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum, effective immediately.

Financial support for a director’s chair is an expression of confidence in the incumbent, and a profound expression of support as the museum moves towards its 2016 expansion.  “We are thrilled to honor Dan Monroe for his transformational accomplishments as director of PEM,” said Rose-Marie van Otterloo. “We are proud to be associated with this incredibly dynamic museum. We love its lively creative nature and unique curatorial vision, and very much look forward to the next chapter in its history.”

The endowment of a museum director’s chair is relatively uncommon in the philanthropic landscape. In New England, only Malcolm Rogers of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Anne Hawley of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jill Medvedow of the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Thomas E. Lentz of Harvard Art Museums join Mr. Monroe in receiving this honor. Among the top ten museums ranked by institutional endowment, only the Art Institute of Chicago and Harvard Art Museums have endowed directorships.

“I have always admired Eijk and Rose-Marie’s commitment to excellence, passion for art, and generosity. It is truly a privilege to carry their names as director of PEM, and we are all deeply grateful,” said Dan L. Monroe, The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director of PEM. Eijk van Otterloo has been on PEM Board of Trustees since 1994, with Rose-Marie becoming a Trustee in 2002.

PEM Board co-Chairmen Sam Byrne and Sean Healey praised Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo for nearly twenty years of leadership and generosity. “The Van Otterloos’ dedication to PEM has inspired all of us. We are deeply grateful for their generosity of spirit and wonderful colleagueship,” said Healey. Board President Robert Shapiro said, “The Peabody Essex Museum is forever imprinted with the Van Otterloos’ commitment to excellence, and genuine, abiding love of art and culture.”

PEM’s recent blockbuster exhibition Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection presented the Van Otterloo collection of paintings and furniture in its entirety for the very first time. It traveled to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston until February 12, 2012.