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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
About the Author
Daniel Finamore is Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.
Ghislaine Wood is Deputy Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.
"The exhibit and accompanying book trace the evolution of ocean liners from functional ships designed to go from one destination to another to vacations in themselves." — The Wall Street Journal
"This absolutely beautiful book mirrors the magnificence and artistry of these grand vessels popular from 1840 to 1960." — East Haven Courier
"Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed and Style examines the cultural complexity of the great age of ocean liners, from the mid-180s through the postwar era. . . . The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalog from V&A Publishing in association with PEM." — Antiques and the Arts
"An aspirational glance of the golden age of oceangoing, from the shipping companies and ambitious looking offices to how the floating palaces they promoted were engineered, configured to class, and marketed. High seas, indeed." — Bask
"Anyone who loves these powerful and much-admired symbols of modernity will love this book that pays homage to the romance and design of these dynamic liners." — Travel by Entree
"This book brings to life the glamour, architecture and lifestyle onboard these glorious vessels. This is an authoritative volume as well as a visual treasure." — Zip06