Thijs Weststeijn studies early modern European art in the context of cultural history. His focus is on the Dutch seventeenth century and the global connections that shaped it, as well as the opportunities that artworks from beyond Europe provide to look back at the Netherlands. He chairs the research project ‘Histories of Global Netherlandish Art, 1550-1750'.
Previously, he was Associate Professor of Heritage Studies at the University of Amsterdam (where he worked with the team of The Chinese Impact and digital humanities project CREATE) and held fellowships from, among others, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. In 2015 he published Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591-1677), a study of the revival of classical antiquity in the countries around the North Sea.
Weststeijn started his career as an intern with the Rembrandt Research Project and a PhD thesis on art theory in Rembrandt's circle (The Visible World: Samuel van Hoogstraten's Art Theory and the Legitimation of Patinting in the Dutch Golden Age, AUP 2008). He contributed to various museums and was trained for two years in studio art (at Ruudt Wackers Academy Amsterdam).
He is a founding editor of the journal History of Humanities and a member of the editorial boards of the Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art and the book series Studies in Early Modernity in the Netherlands. Since 2008, he has organized with Rens Bod, Julia Kursell, and Jaap Maat the annual conference The Making of the Humanities.