Amsterdam Art 202 (Sailing Ship Figureheads to Surrealistic Swiss Army Knives)

Today we entered our 23rd time zone, one more to go.  It’s a sea day and I wanted to continue to write about art on the Amsterdam.  In Art 101 I described some of the art work that I see every day.  In this post I show some of the pieces that I don’t get to every day but that I enjoy when I do.

In the forward stairway Maritime Artist Captain Stephen Card has painting of several Holland America ships from its 145 year history.  These three represent different eras of crossing and cruising.

At the top of the forward staircase on Deck 9 is the Crow’s Nest, an observation lounge that has dancing into the “wee hours” which for this group of passengers is 9:45 PM.  I don’t get up here as often as I might because I enjoy observing from outside and being at the top of the ship and in front I find the motion a little much for my balance while dancing.  But the lounge has some art I really enjoy.  “Still Life with a Gouda Pipe is from Peter Claesz who lived from 1590 to 1661.  In the middle is a bird cage made of mahogany from the late 19th century. A carpenter’s apprentice would need to create one of these to qualify for master status.  Finally there is a hand tinted lithograph of the Brooklyn Bridge from 1883 made by the Franklin Square Lithograph Company of Washington DC.

In the stairwell landing just below the Crow’s Nest is an homage to the 1936 Nieu Amsterdam.  Some art deco figures of the four seasons saved from that ship when she was broken up.

The next two pieces I pass every day on my way to the dining room, but they are small and sometimes I don’t take notice.   They are a couple by a tree and the same couple with a baby.  These are silk stumpwork pieces from the late 17th century.

There are some pieces that were gifts to the ship and they identify the donor but not the artist, but I like them so I put them here.  They are all in places I seldom get to on decks I don’t get to (like the decks with the suites)  I have seen them fleetingly when an elevator door opens and closes.  They are not listed on the ship’s “art tour” but I was interested enough to finally get off at those elevator landings to take a look.

The Half Moon Room is used for private functions.  Some of the travel agencies have escorts who give lectures, for instance Road Scholar.  But I did get into the room for the Purim celebration and enjoyed the whimsical “Fun Ships”  Sketches and realizations by Wout Muller.

Mid Ship there are year 2000 phototypes of hand colored copper engravings of old Amsterdam by Peter Schenck from the late 1600s.

The Pinnacle Grill is the Amsterdam’s “Premium” restaurant.  You pay extra to go there and get a special meal.  Since we find the dining room pretty special we have not sprung the extra money to dine there but were invited there twice, once for the Captain’s Dinner and once in compensation for being driven from our room by a broken overhead pipe beck in February.   The room has nine surrealist Landscapes which I enjoy when I can stick my head in.  You have to look closely to see some of the funny details like the bight taken out of the globe of the heavens, as if it were an apple, or the walking Swiss Army Knife.

The Ocean Bar is where the Ocean Trio plays dance music, although they will take my requests for jump and jazz standards like Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid, Green Dolphin Street or St. Thomas.  It has a 17th century painting by Horatius do Hooch.  That is in the center of the set.  The pictures flanking it are a barometer in the entrance to the balcony of the Queen’s Lounge where the evening shows are.  We seldom use the balcony because it is hot but I love the barometer.  On the other side of the painting is a Caryatid Mount of a Hand Clasping Angel, carved in the 18th century in Italy.  A Caryatid is a support structure and comes from the name of the Greek Town Karuai.

The library has a puzzle corner and decorating it is a “Phantasy Interiror” that includes game pieces by Wout Muller.

Finally a piece I pass every day and always take notice of.  It is at the entrance to the Photo Gallery where we pass every day to see what pics the photographer has taken of us.  It is a swan figurehead from a 19th century English sailing ship.

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