The National Maritime Museum develops its collection based on five main themes. These themes provide a clear basis for our decisions: what do we buy, what do we want to de-accession, and why? This allows us to pursue a proactive collection policy that best supports the mission of the museum. The themes make sure we can act decisively on the market for maritime art, crafts and other maritime-historical objects.

The five main themes of The National Maritime Museum are:

  1. the Dutch and the world. An approach to Dutch maritime history from an international perspective.
  2. the Netherlands as a maritime nation. A national perspective on the importance of the maritime sector for regional planning, labour, daily life, language, etc.
  3. the sea as a source of inspiration. The impact of Dutch maritime history on the creation of art.
  4. the sea as a new challenge. The Dutch and their new relationship with the sea. The museum presents the new relationships of the Dutch with water sports, beach culture, the environment, etc. from a historical perspective.
  5. Amsterdam as a port. The specific maritime history of Amsterdam, its ports, shipping companies and other manifestations of the maritime sector, in particular the Arsenal (the current museum building) and its immediate surroundings.

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