Caro Verbeek (1980) is an art and scent historian, curator, maker and teacher. After working as a traditional curator in several museums (Stedelijk Museum, Rijksmuseum) Verbeek switched to an academic career in 2015. Since that moment she has been combining theory and practice (which always inform each other). She is an education innovator both within museums, art academies and universities. Her aim is to (re-)construct a more inclusive and democratic history of art by re-narrating it from and through a sensory perspective. Because she works on olfactory (and tactile) reconstructions of artefacts and events (see C.V.) and diffuses scents during lectures she is often described  as an ‘artistic scholar’ or ‘academic performer’. She recently succesfully defended her PhD ‘In Search of Lost Scents’ in olfactory museology and the role of scent in avant-garde art (‘Smelling Time – the Olfactory Dimension of Futurism).

Curriculum Vitae – Caro Verbeek

contact at: caro@caroverbeek.nl

Relevant work experience

1-1-2019 – present      Vrije Universiteit Universiteit Amsterdam

Assistant professor sensory history and skills

Design and teaching of the flagship course ‘Knowing by Sensing’      (Vrije Universiteit) – sensory research and embodied learning. Development of Sense-log

1-1-2018 – present      Mondriaan Fonds


Advisory role on sensory heritage and artistic projects

1-4-2015 – 27-10-2020       Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Embedded researcher, PhD-candidate

NWO – Creative Industries grant: ‘In Search of Lost Scents’ (including a vision document on olfactory museology) and ‘Smelling Time – the Olfactory Dimension of Futurism’

1-10-2015 – present     Mediamatic Amsterdam

Head curator and founder of ‘Odorama’ programme

1-4-2015 – 2017    Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


Course From Source to Public (MA History); Course Urban Culture (BA MKDA – Media, Kunst, Design, Architectuur). BKO (teaching certificate): May 2020

1-9-2010 – 1-4-2016     Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Assistant Curator; Interim curator

4-1-2010 – 4-1-2011    Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden

Registrar, documentalist

1-4-2010 – present       Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague

Teacher and developer of the course ‘The Other Senses’. Course about the cultural historical role of the ‘lower’ senses in (history) of art, focusing on reenactments.

4-2-2008 – 29-10-2010 Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Curator in training & Researcher & Documentalist

Preparing exhibitions, publications, conducting workshops, lectures

1-4-2006 – 31-4-2006   Scheringa Museum voor Realisme

Documentary maker ‘Andrea Martinelli – Het Gezicht en zijn Schaduw’

Content, interview and co-editing

1-4-2002 – 1-3-2006    SRC Cultuurvakanties

Cultural tour guide and tour manager in Italy, editor.


2007 – 2009                 University of Amsterdam + Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Faculty                         History of Art

Master                          Master Museumcurator

Minor                            Medieval Art

Thesis                          “Please Touch – Tactile Art in the 20th and 21st Century”

1999-2003                   University of Amsterdam + Universitá degli Studi di Firenze

Faculty                         History of Art

Master                          Master Contemporary and Classic Modern Art

Minors                          Psychology of Religion and Italian Language and Culture

Thesis                          “Inhaling Art – Case Studies of Olfactory Art”

Awards and grants

Part of a Horizon2020 application ‘Odeuropa’, 2020, (main applicant Prof.dr. I. Leemans)

Honorary mention by the Dutch Council of Inclusivity (Code Diversiteit) for making museums more accessible to people of other abilities, 2020

VCAS-VU Talent Award, 2020

Creative Industries Grant NWO/ KIEM, 2014 – 2020, (main applicant Prof.dr. I. Leemans).

Art & Olfaction Award, 2015 (1st , advisor).

Residency KNIR, Rome, 2012.

Public Appreciation Award Musemnacht, 2012 (2nd , concept and execution).

Erasmus Exchange, 2001, Università degli Studi di Firenze.

Academic Publications

Verbeek, C. (2021), “A Whiff of Time – What our Noses Can Tell Us About the Past’, in Fleeting – Scents in Colourn (ed. Ariane van Suchtelen) Mauritshuis, Den Haag (forthcoming)

Verbeek, C. (2021), “The Museum of Smells – Preserving and Presenting Olfactory Heritage”, in New territories of the olfactory experience (ed. Victor Fraigneau) GERPHAU (forthcoming)

Verbeek, C. (2020), “In Search of Lost Scents – The Olfactory Dimension of Futurism”, in Yearbook of Futurism Studies (ed. Günter Berghaus), Berlin: De Gruyter. Peer reviewed. ForthcomingVerbeek, C. (2020), “The Miasma and the Museum – Historical Perspectives on the Olfactory Oeuvre of Julie C. Fortier”, (ed. Jeanne Doré), in Voici des Feuilles, des Fleurs, des Fauves et des Oiseaux, NEZ éditions.

Verbeek, C. (2019), “Knowing by Smelling”, in (ed. Claire Richards) Interplay Under Construction (11:1), London College of Communication, pp. 11-16.

Verbeek, C. (2018), “2000 kunstwerken op pocketformaat”, in ADSN, pp. 40-41.

Verbeek, C. (2017), “Presenting volatile heritage – two case studies on olfactory reconstructions in the museum”, in Future Anterior (ed. Jorge Otero-Pailos et al), pp. 34-42. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2017), “Inhaling futurism: On the Use of Olfaction in Futurism and Olfactory (Re)constructions”, in Designing with Smell: Practices, Techniques and Challenges (eds.. Victoria Henshaw et al), London: Routledge, pp. 201-210. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2017), “Scented Colours: The Role of Olfaction in futurism and Olfactory (Re-)constructions”, in Sensory Arts and Design (ed. Ian Heywood), London/ Oxford: Bloomsbury, pp. 107-119. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2016), “Carel Willink in the spotlight: a painter’s political pen”, in (ed. Marijn Schapelhouman et al), Rijksmuseum Bulletin pp. 105-119. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2016), “Refine the Nostrils!” – A Manifestation of a New Olfactory Sensitivity”, in Peter de Cupere, Scent in Context, Olfactory Art, Duffel: Stockmans Art Books, pp. 69-73, 138-140.

Verbeek, C. (2016), “Surreal Aromas – (Re)constructing the Volatile Heritage of Marcel Duchamp’, in (eds. Barbara Lange et al) Belle Haleine – The Scent of Art, Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag, pp. 115-124. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C., Dathe S., (2015), Es liegt was in der Luft – Duft in der Kunst/ Something in the Air – Scent in Art, 2015, Burgrieden-Rot: Villa Rot.

Halem, L. van, Rooseboom, H. Verbeek, C. (2013), “Acquisitions: A Modern View of the Rijksmuseum”, in Rijksmuseum Bulletin (1), Amsterdam/ Zwolle: Rijksmuseum Publ./ Waanders, pp. 105-119.

Verbeek, C. (2013), “Matisse’s Installation of La perruche et la sirène as an Environment”, (ed. Jane Turner) Master Drawings (50:2), New York: Master Drawings Association, pp. 187-197. Peer reviewed.


Verbeek, C., Van Campen, C. (2013), “’Inhaling Memories – Smell and Taste Memories in Art, Science and Practice”, (eds. David Howes, Michael Bull) Senses & Society (8:2), Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis pp. 133-148. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2012), “Prière de toucher! Tactilism in Early Modern and Contemporary Art”’, (ed. Jim Drobnick) Senses and Society (7:2), Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis, pp. 225-235. Peer reviewed.

Verbeek, C. (2012), “Esthetiek met een Luchtje”, (ed. Els van de Perre) Karakter (41), Universiteit Leuven, pp. 1-4.

Exhibitions, olfactory tours and sensory interventions

Fleeting – Scents in Colour (2021), Mauritshuis, the Hague, Advisor/ participating artist. Expected.

Italian Futurism (2021), Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede. Co-curator/ advisor. Expected.

In Search of Lost Scents (2015 – onoging, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, ongoing

Sensing the Past for Blind and Low Sighted People (2020), olfactory tour with Cathelijne Denekamp, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Curator/ tour guide.

The Multi Sensory Museum (2019), Van Abbemuseum. Participating artist.

The Museum of Smells (2018), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Curator.

Ik, Maria van Gelre! (2018), Museum ’t Valkhof, Nijmegen. Participating artist.

De Vrouwen van Willem van Oranje (2018), Historisch Museum Den Briel. Participating artist.

Zoet! (2017), Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. Participating artist.

Aromatic Art (Re-)constructed (2017), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Curator.

Es liegt was in der Luft – Duft in der Kunst/ Something in the Air – Scent in Art (2015), Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot. Co-curator.

Dick Bruna – Artist (2015), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Curator.

Aat Veldhoen, Rotaprenten (2014), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Co-curator.

Una manera de mirar’, in Escher y sus contemporaneas (2013), Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico. Curator.

Inhaling Art (2014 – 2017), Van Abbemuseum. Curator.

H.N. Werkman ‘druksels’ prints (2008), Van Gogh Museum. Co-curator.

Art Calling (2006), Motivaction, Amsterdam. Curator, participating artist.

Invited lectures and master classes (selection of 100+)

In Search of Lost Scents – Smell as a Tool in Museums (2020), Reinwardt Academie, Amsterdam.

Master Class on urban scentscapes (2019), Summer School “Urban Studies: Sense, Space and Strategy”, Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Smell as an Inclusive Tool in Museums (2019), Danceable #3 (Holland Dance Festival), Korzo Theater, Den Haag.

The History of Perfumed Banquets (2019), opening Openlucht Museum, Arnhem.


Documenting the Lower Senses (2019), for “Art and Medicine: Skilling the Senses”, chaired by Sven Dupré. Utrecht University.


A Soft Manifesto on Scent Culture (2019), opening speech for the Art & Olfaction Awards, Grote Kerk, Amsterdam.

Mastering the Human Mind, Avertiser’s Summit (2019), for De Persgroep, Cambridge.

A Filthy Rich Family Living along an Amsterdam Canal (2019), Scent Summit, curated by Klara Ravat and Saskia Wilson-Brown, Amsterdam.

Masterclass on scent, art and synaesthesia (2017 – 2018), Royal College of Art, London.

The Sensory gaze (2017), lecture for all first-year students at the opening of the academic year 2017, VU, Amsterdam.

Inhaling History of Art – The role of scent during the fin-de-siècle (2017), in Villa Stuck, Munich.

KunstKennis: onze zintuigen in kunst en wetenschappelijk experiment (2017), KNAW, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam.

Smelly Modernism (2017), MSA Modernism Conference, Boston.


Using the Nose as an Academic Tool in Art History (2017), Cambridge University.

Scentscapes from Ancient Rome to the Futurists (2017), Leeds University.

Aromatic Art and the Knowing Nose (2017), for ‘Brainmatters’, Eindhoven.

Inhaling History of Art (2017 – 2020), annual guest lecture, Universiteit van Utrecht.

Scented Colours – The Role of Olfaction in Futurism and of Olfactory Reconstructions (2016), Center for Sensory Studies, Concordia University, Montreal.

In Search of Lost Scents – Reconstructing the Aromatic Heritage of the Avant-garde, for the national PhD-day (2016), Groningen, keynote.

Waar komen onze associaties bij geuren vandaan? (2016), Universiteit van Nederland.

Inhaling the Past – Smelling the Future (2016), Tedx, Groningen.

Geur in de zeventiende eeuw (2016), Nacht van de kunst en wetenschap, Leiden.

Introductory Course of Cubism and Futurism (2015), Radboud University, Nijmegen.

Sensory Modernism(s) – Cultures of Perception (2015), Leeds University, chaired by Cris Neil, keynote.

The Multi Sensory Gaze –Looking at Prints from the Collection of the Rijksmuseum (2015), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and later at the Hands On! International Education Conference, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Kijken met je andere zintuigen, for Cultuureducatie in Amsterdam – De Kunst van het Kijken, MOCCA, De Meervaart, Amsterdam.

Dick Bruna, Kunstenaar (2015), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Seeing Smells, Inhaling Colours (2015), RGB, Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam.

Prière de Toucher! From Tactile Poetry to Tactile Sound (2014), for ‘Touch the Deepest Sense’, chaired by David Howes, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Organization, curation, lecture.

The Proust Effect (2014), a lecture and performance for De Grote Geheugenshow, ArtEZ, Arnhem.

Inhaling memories. On Olfactory and Gustatory Memory in Education and Art Projects (2014), Siegen Universität, Siegen.

Jeugdherinneringen in geuren en kleuren (2014), for the conference‘ Anders Kijken naar Kinderen’, with Cretien van Campen and Jorg Hempenius, Leiden.

Inhaling History of Art (2014) Annual Synaesthesia Conference, Goldsmith’s University, London.

Communicating with Scent (2014), Jeugduniversiteit, Museum voor Communicatie, Den Haag.

Ceci n’est pas une pomme d’ambre (2014), ACCESS/ VU, chaired by Inger Leemans, Amsterdam.

The Sensory Middle Ages (2013), for the NRC Lecture Series, chaired by Pauline Kintz,

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Inhaling History of Art – On the Role of Olfaction during the Avant-Garde, Annual Synaesthesia Conference – Synaesthetic Sensations in Cultural History, Film and the Visual Arts, Art Laboratory, Berlin.

Biblical Scents (2012 – 2013), a tour through theatres and churches with Jorg Hempenius, for De Kunstkaravaan, chaired by Marga Haas.

Inhaling History of Art – Three Case Studies (2012), CAA, chaired by Chandler Burr and Adrian Kohn, New York.

Symposiums (organizer/ moderator)

“Odorama – a Platform for Scent Culture” (30+ symposiums with artists, scholars and scientists, topics ranging from linguistics, psychology, anthropology and biology to design, anosmia, story-telling, Alzheimer, gender and perfumery). The innovative element in this series is the additional use of an AromaJockey for sensory illustrations in order to unite signifier and signified. Mediamatic, Amsterdam. Founder, organization, moderation and curation of art works.

The Museum of Smells (2018), including performance “Beneath her Eyes” by Amy Toner, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Aromatic Art Reconstructed (2017), including performance “The Smell of the Moon” by Hagen Betzwieser, Vrije Universiteit, organization, moderation and curation of art works.

Touch the Deepest Sense (2014), including performance “Touch” by Ludmila Rodrigues. Rijksmuseum, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Meertens Instituut, ACCESS. Co-organization, co-moderation, curation of art works.

The Other Senses (2014), including performance “Braid” by Luis Rodil Fernandez. Royal College of Arts, The Hague. Organization, moderation, curation of art works.

Do it –Smell it! (2010), for the Do it-series, chaired by Margriet Schavemaker and Hendrik Folkerts, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Organization, moderation, curation of art works.

Sensory museology and sensory heritage projects

Olfactory documentation of the avant-garde (2010 – 2020), Vrije Universiteit, Villa Rot, Rijksmuseum Enschede.

Olfactory reconstruction of Valentine de Saint-Point’s 1912 dance ‘Mëtachorie’ (2018), withBernardo Fleming (IFF).

Olfactory reconstruction of strewing herbs (2018), Museum ‘t Valkhof.

Scent of the embalming of William of Orange (2018), Historisch Museum Den Briel.

Scent of the dressing room of the Dutch soccer team after winning the European Champion’s League in 1988 (2017), with Jorg Hempenius.

Collection of 10 historically informed scents (Battle of Waterloo, Canal house, air plane etc.) for the collection of the Rijksmuseum (2015 – 2017), with IFF perfumers and Bernardo Fleming.

Olfactory reconstruction of the ‘odour of sanctity’ of Teresa d’Avila (2017), with Jorg Hempenius, Museum Schiedam.

Olfactory documentation of the oeuvre by Wim T. Schippers (2017), Vrije Universiteit.

A Scentscape of Amsterdam in the 18th Century (2016), annual meeting Werkgroep 18de eeuw, Brussels.

Scent of the embalming by Mary of Magdalen and The Final Judgment (2016), with Jorg Hempenius, Museumnacht Leiden, Museum de Lakenhal.

Scentscape for ‘The Garden of Delights’ by Hieronymus Bosch (2016), with Jorg Hempenius, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

Scent for the DWDD museum commissioned by Marc-Marie Huijbregts (2016), Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam.

Scentscape of the Philips Pavilion by Le Corbusier (2015), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Olfactory Reconstruction of The Beanery by Kienholz (2015), with Esther Brakenhoff, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden.

An Olfactory Perspective on Marc Mulders (2015), De Grote Kunstshow, Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam.

Olfactory tour for “Gift from Heaven” (2013), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

A Filthy Rich Family Living along an Amsterdam Canal, olfactory tour for families at the Cromhouthuizen (part of the Biblical Museum), 2013.

Smelling the World (2013), olfactory tour for children, Amsterdam Museum.

Zaanse Luchten (2012), a scent composition on the history of Zaandam, with Jorg Hempenius, for the municipality of Zaandam.

Reconstruction of the scent of a prayer nut after 16th century recipe (2011), for Frits Scholten.

Tactile reconstruction of the 1921 Futurist poem “Sudan-Parigi” (2011), with Edward Janssen.

Media (selection)

“Kun je ruiken of iemand vlees eet?”, for ‘Wie denk je wel dat je bent?’ (2020), NPO-NTR, (TV-show).

“Waarom kun je je eigen huis niet ruiken?” (08-11-2019), De Volkskrant.

“The History of Smells” (01-04-2019), BYU Radio, United States.

“De geur van gevaar” (26-02-2019), De Groene Amsterdammer.

“Als je stinkt en niets meer ruikt” (17-09-2018), NPO Focus (TV-show).

“De geur ruiken van een dode Willem van Oranje” (11-05-2018), Algemeen Dagblad.

“De neus weet vaak dingen voor je ze ziet” (06-01-2018), De Volkskrant.

“Hoe zou het vroeger geroken hebben?” (12-11-2017), Het Parool.

“Kun je een schilderij ruiken?” (05-11-2017), SchoolTV.

“Hoe rook de kleedkamer van het Nederlands Elftal tijdens het WK 1988?” (30-10-2017), for Rare Jongens, BNN (TV-show).

“Een zintuiglijke film” (02-10-2017), De Buitendienst, NTR (TV-show).

“Aromatic Art Reconstructed” (30-03-2017), BBC Radio Sheffield.

“De Slag bij Waterloo Ruiken” (30-03-2017), The Culture Club (TV-show).

“Een tentoonstelling voor het reukorgaan” (23-03-2017), De Groene Amsterdammer.

“Als je ruikt dan kijk je anders” (22-02-2017), Leidsch Dagblad.

“Kunst beleven met je neus” (22-03-2017), Trouw.

“De geur van kunst – Hoe ruikt de slag bij Waterloo?” (13-03-2017), De Volkskrant.

“Op jacht naar historische geuren” (07-03-2017), De Standaard.

“Wat is de ergste stank op aarde?” (06-02-2017), Proefkonijnen, BNN (TV-Show).

“Dick Bruna – Spiritual Father of Miffy Dies at 89” (17-02-2017), Seattle Times.

“Hoe rook de Slag bij Waterloo?” (16-02-2017), De kennis van nu, (TV-show).

“Waarom willen we onszelf eigenlijk ruiken?” (27-06-2016), NOS.

“Dick Bruna” (18-10-2015), De TV-Show met Ivo Niehe, Avro-TROS (TV-show).

“Nijntje schatplichtig aan Matisse en Rietveld” (27-08-2015), Trouw.

“Dutch rabbit Miffy and Matisse side-by-side at the Rijksmuseum” (27-08-2015), New York Times.

“Ausstellung über Duftkuns”t (17-06-2015), Stuttgarter Zeitung.

“Immer der Nase nach” (21-03-2015), Augsburger Allgemeine.

“Schnupperkurs in Kunst” (20-03-2015), Schwäbische Zeitung.

“Slechtziend, voelen aan kunst” (19-03-2015), NRC.

“De verbluffende schilderkunst van Emile van Dalen” (15-05-2015), RTL Late Night (TV-show).

“Wie aanligt bij het etenl, wil ook wat te ruiken hebben” (02-06-2014), NRC.

“Geuren van Betekenis” (07-02-2013), Trouw.

“Leren proeven met de neusharen en Chanel no. 5” (10-03-2012), Trouw.

“Scents & Sensibility” (01-03-2011), ArtNews.

“Alsof je naast ze zit op een kruk” (21-09-2010), NRC.

Academic coverage of Verbeek’s work as a sensory museologist and scholar

Strauven, W. (2019), “Media Archeology as Laboratory for History Writing and Theory Making”, in New Media Archeologies (ed. Rosella Catanese), pp. 23-44.

Strauven, W (2019), “Marinetti’s Tattilismo Revisited”, in Futurist Cinema: Studies on Italian Avant-garde Film (ed. Rosella Catenese), pp. 76-77.

Goudsmit, L. (2016), “A Sense of History – Lisa Goudsmit Talks to Caro Verbeek”, Solar Inititative – Scents – Sense (1:1), pp. 10-13.

Beelaerts, L. (2016), Eerst historisch eten dan historisch weten. Voedselgeschiedenis en het participatory historical culture model. Master’s thesis Universiteit van Utrecht.

Trienekens, S. (2014), Join in! Praktijkonderzoek naar het museum van de toekomst, Museum van Bommel van Dam.


Guy, M-C (2017), Guiding in a Post-Modern Museum – Challenges and Opportunities. Master’s thesis Leiden University.

Nieuwhof, A. (2017), Olfactory Experiences in Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art – New Curatorial Strategies. Master’s thesis Leiden University.

Other relevant activities

2018 – present Blog on olfactory culture and ephemeral heritage ‘futuristscents.com’.

2017                Co-organization of the International Scent Language Hackaton, Mediamatic.

2015 – 2017    Jury Art & Olfaction Awards.

2016 – 2017    Monthly radio column on smell, Radio Swammerdam, Amsterdam FM.

2016                Co-founder and key member of N.O.S.E. (Netherlands Olfactory Science Exchange)

2015                Organizer and moderator of the first “National Print Room Meeting” for the establishment of a “Collectie Prenten Nederland” and a better collaboration between Dutch institutions that collect prints and drawings, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.