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NY’s Dutch heritage inspires Nieuw Amsterdam’s $3m art collection

NY’s Dutch heritage inspires Nieuw Amsterdam’s $3m art collection
The art and antiques on the 2,160-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam, nearing completion at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard, highlights the Dutch heritage in New York, or New Amsterdam, as it was named by explorer Henry Hudson in the 17th century.    

Continuing the tradition of the rest of Holland America Line fleet, Nieuw Amsterdam features art and antiques from traditional Dutch masters and works by renowned contemporary artists. HAL worked with VFD Architects of the Netherlands and Yran & Storbraaten of Norway to create a collection that complements the ship’s interior design.

‘At a cost of more than $3m, we’ve installed an array of works ranging from glass creations and oil paintings to detailed collages and unique hanging sculptures,’ said HAL’s Rick Meadows, evp marketing, sales and guest programs.

Some pieces represent the Dutch Golden Age while others, such as the atrium centerpiece, are contemporary. Passengers will be able to check out a free, self-guided iPod art tour at the ship’s information desk. The tour will also be available to download at and on iTunes in early July.

Included in the collection is a variation on the fleet’s Lido Pool sculpture. Designed by Bjørn Storbraaten, the piece is made of lightweight stone and doubles as an eight-foot-high waterfall passengers can walk through as they enter or leave the pool. As with its sister-sculpture aboard Eurodam, the stone is subtly engraved with the word ‘water’ in 100 languages.

Nieuw Amsterdam showcases its Dutch connection to New York throughout the ship. The atrium chandelier was created by husband and wife Italian artists Gilbert LeBigre and Corinne Roger. The piece is an abstract sculpture of the New York skyline made from translucent blocks.

As he has done for the entire HAL fleet, noted British maritime artist Stephen Card has created paintings of ships that bear the Nieuw Amsterdam name, past and present. Displayed in the mid-ship staircase are four paintings by Dutch artist Vincent Jansen that include symbols and elements related to the history and founding of New York.

Outside the Pinnacle Grill is a contemporary sculpture by Dutch ceramic artist Paula Bastiaansen, whose technique features porcelain worked into paper-thin, transparent shapes. In the aft staircase and lower Dining Room are a series of paintings by Wessel Huisman, who draws inspiration from old photographs of New York.

More New York-themed art is found throughout, including works by such stars as Andy Warhol, Richard Estes and Roy Lichtenstein, whose pieces symbolizes the artistic vibrancy of New York in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.