Art & History

Voyages: Historical ship models dramatically reimagined by photographers Anderson & Low

The Science Museum’s collection of historical ship models has been dramatically re-imagined for a new exhibition by internationally-acclaimed fine art photographers Anderson & Low.

Voyages, which opens at the Science Museum on 14 March, represents a surprising reinterpretation of a much-loved collection charting the development of maritime history. Looking at these models through the protective sheeting that covers them has had a radical effect on both scale and context. Anderson & Low have used this additional layer as a prism, to separate out a new spectrum of fantastical narratives.

Created using only ambient light, the resulting photographs resemble monumental Turner-esque seascapes and draw on the recurring themes of fantasy, artifice and perception common in Anderson & Low’s many varied works.

Having been displayed for almost half a century before the decommissioning of the Science Museum’s Shipping Galleries in 2012, the models have been subject to careful conservation over the intervening five year period. This new series of photographs by Anderson & Low gives new life to a valued part of the UK’s national collection.

Anderson & Low said: “These inner dramas were present all along, awaiting discovery by any who looked for them. One of the singular parallels in the history of science and art is that one can look at the world in a different way, and re-imagine what it might be. Turner said ‘I paint what I see, not what I know to be there.’ The physicist William Bragg said ‘The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”

Voyages, a book by Anderson & Low featuring 43 full-colour plates and contributions from Science Museum Group Director Ian Blatchford and Dr David Rooney, the Museum’s Keeper of Technologies and Engineering, will be published to accompany the exhibition. Discover more about the show at

All images courtesy of Science Museum & © Anderson & Low

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