From 7 October 2022 to 2 July 2023 the Dutch National Portrait Gallery and the National Maritime Museum presented Humans at Sea, a photography exhibition about the broad, divergent maritime world in which amazing, stimulating and moving portraits and stories show how a life at sea can change people.
The exhibition portrays how people adopt specific roles at sea, and how the sea changes our sense of identity: on board of a ship, we find social structures and hierarchies, but also freedom and transition. Seafaring people are always on the move, travelling from A to B – not alwaysby choice -, navigating between worlds, and sailing into the unknown. Humans at Sea features a fascinating selection of photographic works – many never previously exhibited – showing people and individuals who have shaped the maritime world. Here, where past and present meet, Humans at Sea presents human stories that touch on larger themes such as gender, inclusion and migration.
Humans at Sea presents many different kinds of photography taken by professional photographers, sailing amateurs, institutions and artists. From a daguerreotype and salt print of the earliest known portrait of a Dutch sailor, to contemporary seascapes by Dolph Kessler and Mischa Keijser; from glass negatives of fellow crewmembers of every rank by navigating officer Willem Dirk Duijf, to an immersive installation of slides by solo yachter Herman Jansen.
Humans at Sea is a coproduction by the National Maritime Museum and the Dutch National Portrait Gallery.
The exhibition is on show at the National Maritime Museum from 7 October 2022 to 2 July 2023.
1018 KK Amsterdam