The great age of ocean travel has long since passed, but ocean liners remain one of the most powerful and admired symbols of modernity. No form of transport was as romantic, remarkable, or contested, and ocean liner design became a matter of national prestige as well as an arena in which the larger dynamics of global competition played out. This beautifully illustrated book considers over a century of liner design: from the striking graphics created to promote liners to the triumphs of engineering, and from luxurious interiors to onboard fashion and activities. Ocean Liners explores the design of Victorian and Art Deco “floating palaces,” sleek post-war liners as well as these ships’ impact on avant-garde artists and architects such as Le Corbusier.
The publication accompanies the exhibition Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style that was on view at the Peabody Essex Museum from May 20 to October 9, 2017, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from January 27 to June 3, 2018.
Daniel Finamore is The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History at the Peabody Essex Museum. Ghislaine Wood is Deputy Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.
Ocean Liners was awarded Best in Show for Professional Illustrated Books at the 2018 New England Book Show.