Special thanks to HAL’s Director Mariner Society Gerald Bernhoft for this post.
It is well known that one of the signatures of Holland America Line is the amazing artwork collections aboard each ship. The collections average an astonishing $2 million per vessel. Antiques and commissioned artwork are strategically placed in various foyers and lounges from stem to stern. A little-known fact is that there is one particular art piece that Holland America Line actually purchased twice.
In 1938 when guests first entered the two-story Grand Foyer of the ss Nieuw Amsterdam they admired it’s bronze centerpiece depicting “The Four Season’s.” It was the work of two Dutch artists, Jan Eloy and Leo Brom. It represents the seasons frolicking in the night sky surrounded by stars, planets and fire flies.
Artwork onboard Holland America Line was commissioned for the individual vessels of the line prior to the building of the ms Nieuw Amsterdam of 1983 and the ms Noordam of 1984. Those sister ships were the first ships to display an array of antiques as well as a few commissioned pieces throughout the ship.
The ms Nieuw Amsterdam showcased antiques from the Dutch West Indies whereas the ms Noordam showcased Dutch East Indies antiques and artifacts. During the building of the 2000 ms Amsterdam, the interior design group ran across the beautiful bronze Four Seasons sculpture that adorned the Grand Foyer of the 1938 ss Nieuw Amsterdam. They purchased it from a European art dealer and it is once again proudly displayed on Holland America Line. It is perfectly placed above the staircase on Sports Deck just outside the famed Crow’s Nest aboard our sister flagship, the ms Amsterdam.