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Silver Origin’s 195-piece Art Collection

Silver Origin has now arrived in Manta in Ecuador, ready to welcome Silversea’s guests. When the all-suite, all-balcony, 100-guest Silver Origin begins year-round voyages in the archipelago later this year, a regionally-inspired collection of 195 art pieces will enrich guests’ travels, comprising 122 framed artworks, 69 sculptures, and four installations.

Amplifying Silver Origin’s feel of whispered luxury, the meaningful art collection will combine contemporary and historical pieces to communicate the rich history of travel in the Galapagos Archipelago, as well as the region’s scientific significance and its distinctive natural beauty. In some instances, the art pieces will provide context to the legendary second voyage of Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle; in others, they will inspire deeper thoughts on the islands’ unique wildlife; while other pieces might explore the theme of botany, for example.

The result is a ship brimming with curiosities, which tell many stories about the Galapagos. As guests explore the collection, including the works of art that adorn the walls of their own suites, they have the opportunity to marvel at natural wonders, delve into the history of the islands, and feel the excitement of great explorers and naturalists.

With its focus on the untouched beauty and amazing wildlife of the Galapagos, Silversea’s new destination-specific expedition ship will strengthen guests’ connections with the islands through its onboard art collection. The ship’s thought-provoking exhibits, displayed throughout the public spaces and suites, includes elegantly framed artwork, sculptures, rare books, original and replica artefacts, and unusual objects gathered from both local sources and from around the world.

To source, commission and organize the works, Silversea turned to Peter Millard and Partners Ltd., a London-based art consultancy firm. Ally Millard, the firm’s Creative Director, reached out to a variety of international artists to create original works.

“We wanted to ensure that this collection displayed not only historical and traditional artworks, but also incorporated pieces such as watercolors, photographs and paintings of the Galapagos experience, cast from the eyes of contemporary artists and travelers—offering guests new artistic discoveries to enrich their journeys,” says Millard.

At the same time, Millard scoured major universities and libraries for collections related to historical expeditions, and tapped the expertise and resources of Silversea’s long-time partner, the UK’s Royal Geographical Society with IBG.

“The Royal Geographical Society is home to rare and unique items linked to early European documenting, mapping and scientific understanding of the Galapagos,” says Alasdair MacLeod, Head of Enterprise and Resources at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). We are delighted that so many are featured, in beautiful facsimile form as part of Silver Origin’s art collection: as inspiring today as they were when first created, some over 200 years ago.”

Basecamp: Cabinets of Curiosities

One of Silver Origin‘s most innovative spaces, Basecamp, is designed especially to bring the destination on board. It is the heart of the ship, where educational activities are hosted and where guests can interact with Silversea’s team of expert guides to learn more about the rare wildlife, remarkable landscapes and captivating history of the Galapagos, before and after excursions. It is also the centerpiece of the art collection, with walls that showcase elegantly framed maps and illustrations, and display cases that house a carefully curated menagerie of contemporary sculptures, artefacts, and rare books.

“Cabinets of curiosities, the forerunners of today’s museums, recall an earlier time when explorers and scientists, like Charles Darwin himself, were driven by wanderlust and a quest for knowledge. It’s in this spirit that we have created an art collection that pays tribute to the beauty, history and curiosities of the Galapagos, while entertaining and enlightening our guests,” says Fernando Delgado, Vice President of Silversea Cruises Ecuador. “We look forward to welcoming guests into the grand ‘wonder room’ that is our beautiful, new Silver Origin.”

A sampling of Basecamp’s art collection includes:

• Antiquarian Books: Rare editions of Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’ and ‘The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle,’ containing beautiful, full-color wildlife illustrations, and ‘Galapagos: World’s End,’ by William Beebe, distinguished American biologist and explorer.

• Pre-Columbian Sculptures: A Chimu pottery vessel with figural face, from nearby Peru, c. AD 1000, and a Vicús painted terracotta whistling jar in the shape of a dog, from Peru, c. AD 200.

• Explorer Artefacts: An armillary sphere, globe, sextant and compass from the 19th century.

• ‘Outlines of Botanical Geography’: a seminal map by Alexander von Humboldt, the famed German naturalist and explorer who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries. (Work reproduced with the permission of The Royal Geographical Society with IBG.)

• Contemporary Sculptures: Brass bird sculptures with gemstone eyes by Ecuadorian artist Joaquin Tinta; ‘Efflorescence,’ a porcelain sculpture by Kenya-born Briton Vanessa Hogge; a large, bronze Galapagos saddleback turtle by American sculptor Scott Shaffer; and a hand-folded vintage book by paper artist Anna Bonino of CRIZU.

Silversea Cruises today affirms its destination leadership by unveiling a revised collection of 157 new expedition voyages. 

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