7 Oct - 28 Oct

Humans at sea


The Humans at Sea exhibition puts photo collection of the National Maritime Museum in a new light.

This autumn, the Maritime Museum presents Humans at Sea: a photo exhibition in which stimulating and moving portraits and stories show how being at sea can change you as a person. The museum’s collection (50,000 objects) is diverse; from the oldest known portrait of a Dutch sailor, to the contemporary seascapes of Dolph Kessler and Mischa Keijser, from glass negatives with crew members in all walks of life by helmsman Willem Dirk Duijf, to an immersive image installation of the slides of solo sailor Herman Jansen; it’s all there.

The visitor is immersed in a multifaceted – and sometimes contrasting – maritime world that touches on larger themes such as gender, inclusion and migration. The many forms of photography show a wide range of personal stories that lie behind the world at sea. Seafarers, passengers, or a loner at sea: all travel from A to B, find themselves between two worlds and sail beyond the boundaries of the known. Life offshore goes hand in hand with freedom and transition, but also with social structures and hierarchy on board. Humans at Sea shows how you relate to yourself, others, the ship and the sea on the water, touching on larger themes such as gender, inclusion and migration.

Humans at Sea, The Maritime Museum, Kattenburgerplein 1; a co-production with Dutch National Portrait Gallery and on view from October 7, 2022 to May 28, 2023.