Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum

by John MacFarlane 2018

Joost Schokkenbroek

Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, the new Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum (Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Maritime Museum.)

I was recently introduced, online, to the new Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. As of July 2017, Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM). He brings to this institution a museum and academic background spanning over three decades.

Dr. Schokkenbroek holds a PhD in maritime history from Leiden University. He began his museum career in 1988 at the Kendall Whaling Museum in Sharon, Massachusetts, USA. Since that time Dr. Schokkenbroek has been affiliated with Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The Dutch National Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam for over 26 years. His last position was as Chief Curator.

He also held the professorial position of Chair of Maritime History and Maritime Heritage at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Serving both the (maritime) museum world and academia Schokkenbroek has built bridges to bring these two separate worlds a bit closer together.

Schokkenbroek is past Secretary–General of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Zeegeschiedenis (Netherlands Association for Maritime History, 1992–1998), and the Association’s past President (2008–2017). He is also past President of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlaggenkunde (Netherlands Association for Vexillology, 2002–2017). Furthermore, he has served on the Board of the Directie der Oostersche Handel en Reederijen (2008–2017), one of the oldest Dutch maritime funds with special focus on the dissemination of knowledge regarding the maritime historical connections between the Netherlands and the Baltic region.

Schokkenbroek has published profusely on whaling history, the admiralties in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch East and West India Companies, maritime art and artefacts, and on the maritime history between the Netherlands and the Baltic. Also, he has published on artefacts, museum collections and material culture in general and their importance as sources for historical research.

He will no doubt face some daunting constraints while moving the VMM agenda forward, not the least of which will be funding of programs. He also faces a fragmented community of specific heritage interest groups in the province who are not used to working closely together. It will take a key person with skill and vision to bring these groups together in a spirit of cooperation to succeed in moving the agenda forward. The task is not insurmountable but it will require input from all levels - clubs, societies, museums, and archives as well as government assistance.

So far we have only had an opportunity to exchange emails but he has expressed an interest in building partnerships with those who are productively involved in researching, interpreting and preserving British Columbia’s nautical heritage. With his wealth of international experience he brings a new perspective to the job with which he will be able to communicate our heritage and history to the world. We hope he will be able to accomplish great things, and develop the VMM into a significant leadership role for nautical heritage.

Joost Schokkenbroek

Joost Schokkenbroek looks toward the future vision of the Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Maritime Museum.)

We wish him an enjoyable and successful tenure in his position while on the Pacific Coast, and extend a general invitation to him to engage the nautical heritage community throughout the whole province.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2018) Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Nauticapedia.ca 2018. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/Scokkenbroek.php

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