Maritime Art Network
Maritime art, what is it actually? A look into the current research landscape shows a major gap in this research area. On the part of the humanities, there is still no binding terminology and definition of genre for art with maritime motifs despite the existence of several artworks dealing with the sea, its perils, and opportunities. For example: In the Netherlands of the 17th Century, the term "Seascape" was formed, where as in Germany, from the 19th Century onwards, the term "Marinemalerei" prevailed as a synonym to its Dutch counterpart. But in more recent times, its meaning shifted primarily towards the depictions of the naval warfare, thus proving to be insufficient for the encapsulation of the diversity of the art form, which has spread to contemporary art.
While heeding the tension between older maritime depictions and contemporary ones, we consider maritime art today, all artistic expressions which critically and aesthetically engage with the sea, its promises and its troubled history.
The aim of this network is to bring art with maritime themes into the focus of scientific research, and to expand the view beyond the classical genres of painting towards innovative forms of expression in order to reflect upon the shifting role that the sea plays in contemporary culture. To this end, the Network Maritime Art offers a platform for exchange and connection across the broad field of maritime art to all cultural professionals and scientists, across national and specialist borders.
The Network Maritime Art was established in autumn 2018 in Bremerhaven as part of the international conference "Seaing Deeper". This conference was a cooperative project of the Historisches Museum Bremerhaven, the Kunstverein Bremerhaven von 1886 e.V. and the German Maritime Museum. The three museums house important art collections with works from various eras dedicated to maritime themes. These are both scientifically researched and publically exhibited. The Network "Maritime Art" seeks to perpetuate and to promote the scientific exchange that has begun in Bremerhaven. The establishment of the Network was made possible thanks to the support of the Freundeskreis zur Förderung der Wissenschaft e.V. (Friends of the Society for the Promotion of Science).