The golden age of ocean liners is inextricably linked with the key decorative trends of the 20th century—Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modernism. This lavish visual feast explores the technical, aesthetic, cultural, and political factors that came together to define such an iconic mode of travel, considering all aspects of the ocean liner experience, from the striking marketing images, aspirational booking offices, and landmark headquarters of the major shipping companies to the ships’ opulent interiors and triumphs of engineering. The lavish fashions required for a crossing are also explored, along with the evolution of the ships’ social and public spaces, as once-rigid class structures and attitudes became relaxed. Closing the book is an exploration of the impact of the ocean liner on the wider art and design world—an icon of modernity that influenced everyone from the Futurists to Le Corbusier.
This stunning volume accompanies an exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, May 20, 2017 to October 9, 2017