One of the most notable features of any Holland America Line ship is the remarkable collection of museum-quality art on board. The line’s newest vessel, ms Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016, is no exception. With a collection worth $4.1 million, the ship highlights the talents of leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, working with art curator ArtLink, and YSA Design to procure a thought-provoking collection of diverse works that complements the ship’s design while stimulating conversation.
The result is a floating art gallery with 1,920 pieces ranging in value from $500 to $600,000 that spans the decks, public rooms and staterooms. More than 21 nationalities are represented by Koningsdam’s artists, with the greatest number of contributors coming from the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom. Artists also hail from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
Koningsdam features artworks in many media, including photography, painting, mixed media, illustration, prints and sculpture. Much of the art curated aboard is from emerging artists and highlights Koningsdam’s focus on entertainment, showcasing themes of music, dance and movement.
Ranging from classic to whimsical, a variety of two-dimensional, mixed-media pieces using materials including paint-injected bubble wrap, computer disks on wood, toy cars cast in resin, aluminum wire, cast paper, bamboo and more are scattered throughout the ship. Many of the pieces change appearance depending on the viewer’s vantage point, inviting guests to take time to ponder and discuss the works of art.
The largest and most expensive work is the stunning Atrium sculpture titled “Harps” that is based on a concept by Adam D. Tihany, who was at the helm of the ship’s design and is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. The $600,000 piece is an impressive 7.5-ton stainless steel sculpture that spans three decks.
Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, said:
“Extensive collections of unique and thought-provoking art have always been a hallmark of our elegant on board ambiance, and Koningsdam showcases one of our most exciting and contemporary displays”
“Surrounding our guests with a vast array of meaningful artwork is a natural extension of the cruise experience as art awakens your senses, enriches your perspectives, inspires conversation and crosses cultural boundaries, all the same transformative values of travel.”
Additional pieces that carry an impressive price tag include Jason Krugman’s multideck “Quad Helix” light sculpture located in the Queen’s Lounge that cost $174,750; the custom-designed Swarovski crystal globe made by Dutch design group Studio Job valued at $100,000 located on Deck 3, mid-ship stair lobby; and the $54,000 “Rabbit” by Berg and Meyers nestled in The Retreat, which has turned into one of the most talked about pieces on board.
The large-scale tulip images behind the Guest Services desk on Deck 3 are by a Netherlands-based artist who was commissioned to photograph Holland America Line’s Signature Tulip. This unique flower only blooms for a couple of weeks every year, so ArtLink’s team traveled to the Netherlands to collect the blooms directly from the only grower in the world of the Signature Tulip, and they arrived at the photographer’s studio in time to capture the moment.
Some of the most charming pieces can be found nestled inside special tables at the Grand Dutch Café on Deck 3. Royal Goedewaagen created handmade and hand-painted ceramic buildings that showcase a little bit of Dutch history with canal houses, mills, palaces and Zaanse Schans houses (typical greenhouses from a specific region of Holland).
Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar recently exhibited his work at Paris’ famed Louvre, and now Holland America Line guests can enjoy his captivating, two-story sculpture in The Dining Room. Titled “Wings of the Pharao,” the piece is made from handmade cast paper, Belgian linen and bamboo, and Gentenaar came on board the ship during construction in the yard to complete the installation.
As he has done for the entire Holland America Line fleet, Stephen J. Card, a British artist regarded as one of the finest maritime painters working today, created two paintings that are on display in the Captain’s Corner of the Crow’s Nest, forward on Deck 11.
A highlight for many Holland America Line devotees are the historic art objects on display that came from ms Ryndam and ms Statendam, which were transferred to sister brand P&O Australia.
Whether it’s a collection of pieces featuring famous musicians or a wooden ship sculpture with a cello for its hull, the art aboard Koningsdam makes up one of the finest collections in the world. Guests can explore the decks inside and out and discover inspired works around every turn.