ABOARD THE NIEUW STATENDAM -- The $4 million art collection on Holland America Line's newest ship mostly relates to music, one of the overriding themes of the ship class that started in 2016 with the Koningsdam.

Most of the art on Nieuw Statendam relates to music. These cymbals are beneath a staircase in the main dining room.
Most of the art on Nieuw Statendam relates to music. These cymbals are beneath a staircase in the main dining room. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

Whether it is photographs of the insides of musical instruments or abstract art inspired by sound waves or oversized depictions of 17th century violins made of Delft ceramics, the Nieuw Statendam is a treat for lovers of music and art.

The ship's collection includes work from 180 artists and was assembled by two art consultants, London-based Artlink and Norway's YSA Design.

Nieuw Statendam is the fourth ship ArtLink has worked on, and the second for Holland America Line (the other two are Seabourn ships).

"There are five more in the works," said Artlink founder Tal Danai.

The biggest work of art, which is also on the Koningsdam, is the 7.5-ton sculpture in the ship's atrium that is meant to suggest a harp. The work, which spans three decks, was built in 24 pieces in China and assembled on site, fastened to the atrium at only six points.

One of the most prominent artists represented on the ship is Peter Gentenaar, who created a 19-foot tall paper sculpture that hangs through an opening in the floor of the two-deck main dining room and weighs just 24 pounds.

This sculpture, which spans two decks through an opening in the main dining room ceiling was inspired by sound waves.
This sculpture, which spans two decks through an opening in the main dining room ceiling was inspired by sound waves. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

The sculpture is made of custom-milled fire-retardant linen paper stretched over ribs of bamboo and is intended to be an abstraction of sound waves. 

Another artist takes photos of objects meant to resemble a 17th century Dutch still life. Each photo features a period musical instrument that the artist built himself.

Another whimsical piece is a surfboard wrapped in cherubs painted in the style of Raphael. Another piece is a 1970s-era boombox (first developed by the Dutch firm Phillips) covered with Louis Vuitton logos.

The works of over 60 artists are displayed in the ship's three stair towers. Each tower is themed, in part, to give guests an idea of where they are in the ship as they traverse the towers.

The aft stairs are themed to fashion, the middle stairs to music and the forward stairs to "art history with a twist."

This translucent resin copy of the David statue with a cell phone is a social media favorite on Nieuw Statendam
This translucent resin copy of the David statue with a cell phone is a social media favorite on Nieuw Statendam Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

One of the most popular items in the elevator lobby of one deck on the forward stair tower is a 6-foot copy of the famous David statue by Michelangelo crafted from clear resin. The twist is that the statue is holding an iPhone in its right hand. 

Ship personnel said that the statue is attracting many guests and crew who want to take selfies with the translucent David to post on social media.

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