Digital photograph of Peter Dekker

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What are you holding?


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I have known Peter Dekker for over five years now. He inspires me a lot, and not only me: my students love and admire him for his knowledge and his drive.

But above all, he is an example for all of us of how you can be a scholar outside the walls of universities, that you do not need all the titles that the academic community often makes us believe are needed to be taken seriously. Peter Dekker is asked for his advice by institutes such as The Met in New York and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. No questions, then, that this man is taken seriously.

Peter Dekker knows what he is doing and what he wants to do. This story is about the why and how of his work, and about the things he surrounds himself with. To start with the latter, I asked him what he is holding while Irene van Kessel, who shot this image for Things That Talk, was getting him in the right position.

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