- Digital Scholarship
Dutch Whaling in the Golden Age
Exhibition ended June 2012
Dutch Bay Whaling in the Arctic, Wieringen, Cornelis Claesz van, circa 1620
Among the paintings and drawings, the Old Master pictures from the sumptuous Golden Age of Dutch whaling are the crown jewels, by far the largest and most important collection of such works outside of the Netherlands and, without rival, the envy of even the great institutional collections in England and Holland. They include the earliest marine painting in North America; the first-ever oil painting of a whaling scene; two unique, iconic paintings of whale strandings on the North Sea coast; encyclopedic, firsthand images of classic bay whaling and open sea whaling in the Arctic; and several original paintings and watercolors from which some of the most influential printed Dutch and British whaling images of the 17th and 18th centuries were derived. Some of the most distinguished Dutch and Flemish marine painters from the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer were represented, together with lesser, vernacular pictures, and surrounded by related prints, decorative arts, whalemen’s shipboard handcrafts, one or two navigational instruments, and a few pieces of contemporaneous furniture.