Director Evert Douwes jr. (1953 - the 8th Evert in line and 6th generation since its business registration) has been spoon-fed with the art dealing profession. From the age of six, Evert jr. listened to the stories told to him by his grandfather and followed his father's directions while daubing on a spare canvas in the restoration department.
After High School Evert jr. enrolled for History of Art at the University of Amsterdam. During his studies he worked with the leading expert Eberhard Kornfeld in Berne, Switzerland, allowing him to develop his own expertise in classic modern art and Rembrandt prints. Evert jr. then spent time in London to follow the Sotheby's Works of Art Course and to connect with the international art market. After studying the famous collection of drawings at the Institut Neerlandais in Paris, visiting museums throughout the United States and Canada and re-organizing the extensive and unique art library (now over 400,000 illustrations) at the family art gallery in Amsterdam, he was ready to open the London Branch of Douwes Fine Art in 1979.
Inspired by the knowledge of his father, Evert jr. was able to gain experience in buying and selling, as well as the running of an international family owned art business. In 1995, after having lived in London for eighteen years, Evert jr., his wife and three children moved to Amsterdam where he has since been at the helm of the Douwes Fine Art Gallery located immediately next to the Rijksmuseum.
Evert jr. serves as an international painting expert in several vetting committees, was a Board member to the most important annual Dutch National Art and Antiques Fair (PAN - Pictura Antiquairs Nationaal), is a founding father of the annual ArtBreda fair in The Netherlands and remains active in his field. Evert jr. is also involved in various aspects of the protection of Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands.
In his spare time he is president of the Ingeborg Douwes Foundation, a unique initiative since 2000 focussing on Psychosocial Care for Cancer patients and their families.
Erick Douwes (1956 – the 6th Generation since registration) is Evert's younger brother. Erick joined the family firm in the early eighties with particular interest in wanting to become a painting restorer. Under the expert guidance of his father Evert sr. and with the assistance of other in-house professionals, Erick learned the required skills, including the full appreciation of the complex processes of this highly specialised artistry. In 1991 Erick also started a second Douwes Restoration Studio, a one-hour drive North of Amsterdam, which has now been moved to a different location near Utrecht. However, the main focus has always been to manage the Douwes Fine Art restoration department in Amsterdam. With Erick's expertise, joined by competent staff members, new solutions to old problems need to be found regularly. Aided by the use of the latest technology, the Douwes Fine Art restoration department is able to keep up with any progress and innovation in the field. Erick is a member of the Dutch Art Restorers Association (RN) and is president of its sister organisation ARA.
Evert sr. (1928 – the 7th Evert in line and the 5th Generation since registration), born in London, has been a driving force for over sixty-eight years. His father (1888) built up a respectable curriculum in the art market and ran an art gallery in London during the depression. Barely able to finish his studies after the war, Evert sr. was gently guided into the family firm by his father. Most importantly, Evert sr. took the chance to learn everything about painting restoration, especially during his London years in the early 1950s. This enabled him, like no other, to familiarise himself thoroughly with the 'personal handwriting' of many painters. With this practical knowledge he has been able to make many discoveries and to identify almost forgotten painters. His lifetime interest in photography enabled him to develop a keen and professional eye for detail. Being a good amateur painter helped him understand the creative process of painting and recognize the specific artistic qualities that can make a work of art an indispensable document to society. In addition, he followed an art history course at the Documentation Centre for Art History (RKD - Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie) in The Hague.
At a young age Evert sr. took over from his father to further develop the gallery activities after World War II. In addition to the gallery's 15th to 19th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, he introduced the 19th century French School of Barbizon and Pre- and Post-Impressionism.
In 1975 Evert sr. became one of three founding members of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht. For over twenty years he sat on the Board of Directors and was the president of the paintings vetting committee. The strict vetting rules and thorough selection of participants have allowed this international fair to grow and become the very best in the world. Evert sr. was also one of six founding members of the PAN, the most important Dutch National Art & Antiques Fair.
For over thirty years, Evert sr. has been the examiner for the Dutch Federation of Valuers, Brokers and Auctioneers. Only after stringent training and strict exams could one be registered as a sworn valuer. Presently, Evert sr. spends a lot of time giving lectures. He also contributes his knowledge to gallery activities, aided by the Douwes Fine Art slide library with over 40,000 images.
Evert sr. has been happily married for over sixty years. Of his three sons and one daughter, two sons have entered the family firm.