The New Bedford Whaling Museum stewards one of the largest and most important collections of Dutch and Flemish marine paintings and prints outside the Netherlands. The collection includes the first-ever oil painting of a whaling scene; two iconic paintings of whale strandings on the North Sea coast, and encyclopedic images of classic bay whaling and open sea whaling in the Arctic. Some of the most influential printed whaling images of the 17th and 18th centuries were derived from several of these original paintings and watercolors. Most recently a glorious rendering of the whaling fleet at the foot of the Beerenberg volcano on Jan Mayen Island has been added to this collection. Some of the most distinguished Dutch and Flemish marine painters from the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer are represented in major works, together with lesser, vernacular pictures, related prints, furniture, and ceramic tiles.
Christina Connett Brophy, The Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator (November 2019)