The 'Drive' exhibition unveils 350 unique items from the 100-year-old collection of Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum), ranging from life jackets from the Costa Concordia to a letter signed by Michiel de Ruyter in 1657. 

What do a life jacket from the Costa Concordia, a letter signed by Michiel de Ruyter in 1657, Mesdag's masterpiece from 1898, and a globe from 1613 have in common? All these items form part of the unique collection of Het Scheepvaartmuseum. The history of the museum's collection and its unique objects take centre stage in the new exhibition 'Drive' which opens on 1 October 2016.
The art of collecting
Collecting is very much an ancient instinct. In prehistoric times, people needed to collect in order to survive. These days, collecting is generally a hobby, a profession, or a compulsive passion. One in three people collect something, whether beer mats, stamps, or maritime objects. 'Drive' sets out the reasons why we collect, and showcases objects collected by people who want to show off their wealth, have an urge to hoard, make their collection or their name immortal, or create a microcosm. 

Exhibition highlight
One of the highlights of the exhibition is the painting 'Gezicht op het IJ met 's Lands Zeemagazijn' (View of the river IJ with 's Lands Zeemagazijn), dating from 1664, by Reinier Nooms, also known as 'The Seaman'. 'Drive' puts this masterpiece on show for the very first time. It shows a wonderful scene of a number of warships on the water in front of the building that is now home to Het Scheepvaartmuseum. 

Founded in 1916
Director Michael Huijser explains the museum's origins. 'Het Scheepvaartmuseum's collection started being compiled exactly one hundred years ago. At that time, in 1916, it was a private initiative to preserve our maritime history for future generations. We are proud to now unveil this collection's history and to give credit to those who have contributed to the collection.'

Practical information
The exhibition 'Drive | 100 years of collecting' is on show at Het Scheepvaartmuseum from 1 October 2016 to 2 July 2017. Het Scheepvaartmuseum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. An audio tour, guided tours, and special lectures are being organized to accompany the exhibition. For an up-to-date overview of the tours and lectures, please visit 

The exhibition is sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, participants in the BankGiro Lottery, and the Samenwerkende Maritieme Fondsen (Association of Maritime Funds).