Pieter van der Merwe was on the staff of the National Maritime Museum (Royal Museums Greenwich) from 1974 to March 2018 in a number of specialist and managerial roles, latterly as General Editor and Greenwich Curator (c.1994–2017). He remains one of its Curators Emeritus. He has published on subjects including stage, panoramic, landscape and marine painting and other aspects of maritime history, and the more local history of Greenwich, its major buildings and institutions. He is also current Chairman of the Turner Society (since December 2018). He is Group Leader of Maritime Subjects on Art Detective.