Exhibitions

Kenneth Shoesmith, Cunard Line, Europe, America, 1929, color lithograph.

 Gift of the estate of Francis B. C. Bradlee, 1928, M11215. © Peabody Essex Museum

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style

On view May 20, 2017 to October 9, 2017

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, ocean liners were floating showcases of technology, opulence and social sophistication. As icons of modernity and aspirational living, artists, engineers, architects and passengers all vied for influence and access in the creation and enjoyment of these man-made islands at sea.

Ocean liners were intricately constructed pieces of culture — in the appearance of their design, the elegance of their engineering and the division of their social space — and each with its own distinct personality. Drawing from international institutions and private collections, the exhibition brings together nearly 200 works including paintings, sculpture, models, furniture, lighting, wall panels, textiles, fashion, photographs, posters and film. The exhibition is co-organized with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Share your impressions with us on social media using #OceanLiners.

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Fiduciary Trust Company is the lead sponsor and Eaton Vance Management is a major sponsor. The exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation provided generous support. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided additional support.

FIDUCIARY

EATONVANCE        NEA

Media Partners: Art New England and WXRV

ANE      

  WXRV


Images

Dress, Jenny of Paris, about 1926.

Dress, Jenny of Paris, about 1926.

Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of Mrs. Sanford S. Clark, 1971, 132655. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver.

Earl Christy, Design for a poster for the White Star Line and Moet & Chandon, about 1912.

Earl Christy, Design for a poster for the White Star Line and Moet & Chandon, about 1912.

Oil on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum, Museum purchase, 2014.13.1.

Goyard, Goyard luggage, Duchess of Windsor, about 1950.

Goyard, Goyard luggage, Duchess of Windsor, about 1950.

Miottel Museum, Berkeley, California. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Luke Abiol.

‘Cunard Line USA’ poster featuring Berengaria, about 1925.

‘Cunard Line USA’ poster featuring Berengaria, about 1925.

Color lithograph. Collection of Stephen S. Lash. Courtesy of Cunard. Photo by Stephen Petegorsky.

Bassett-Lowke LTD, Model of Queen Elizabeth, 1947–1948.

Bassett-Lowke LTD, Model of Queen Elizabeth, 1947–1948.

White mahogany, gunmetal, brass. Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of Cunard Line Ltd., 1970, M14220. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola.

Kenneth Shoesmith, Cunard Line, Europe, America, 1929, color lithograph.

Kenneth Shoesmith, Cunard Line, Europe, America, 1929, color lithograph.

 Gift of the estate of Francis B. C. Bradlee, 1928, M11215. © Peabody Essex Museum

Related Events

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style ›
OPENING DAY DEEP DIVE
Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10am - 5pm

Included with admission

Experience a slice of life aboard these floating cities with programs and performances, art-making workshops and demonstrations.

 

WORKSHOP

Art-Deco Bas Relief
10–11:30 am | Create Space
Space limited, reservations by May 19

Create your own Art Deco-inspired copper medallion using bas-relief tooling techniques.

Purchase Tickets

 

DEMONSTRATION

Foam Core Ship Models
10 am–4 pm | Atrium

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to examine working design models of various spaces aboard ships. Learn the tools and techniques of modern model making. Professional model maker and designer Alastair Battson of Wilson Butler Architects discusses how and why physical models are used to express architectural ideas and concepts.

 

MUSIC PERFORMANCE

The Skyline Jazz Duo
Noon–3 pm | Atrium

Enjoy music of The Great American Songbook from the 1920s and 30s, the heyday of travel for ocean liners, with Grammy-nominated bassist Greg Silva and recording and touring pianist Dave Ramsey.

 

DEMONSTRATION

Vintage Trunks 
Noon–4 pm | Atrium

Built for form as well as function, vintage travel trunks capture the enduring romance of ocean-liner travel. Antique trunk restoration expert Churchill Barton of Brettun’s Village Trunk Shop in Lewiston, Maine, shares the history and demonstrates the workmanship and repair of these enduring family heirlooms.

 

DROP-IN ART MAKING

Luggage Stickers
Noon–4 pm| Atrium

Create personalized luggage stickers for your next trip inspired by Art-Deco designs.

 

GAMES

Shuffleboard
Noon–4 pm | Atrium

No shipboard experience would be complete without a rousing game of shuffleboard. Try your hand at this classic high-seas pastime.

 

CONVERSATION

Fathoming the Ocean Liner
1–2:15 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by May 19

Join our experts as they offer an inside look at how the exhibition concept came to be, challenges encountered and great objects discovered along the way. Presenters include Ghislaine Wood, co-curator for Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style, and Deputy Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, England; Scott Wilson, founding partner of Wilson Butler Architects, Boston; and George Schwartz, PEM Curatorial Scholar. Daniel Finamore, co-curator for Ocean Liners and PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, moderates this conversation.

Purchase Tickets

 

Made possible by the Lowell Institute

Members-Only Gallery Talk ›
Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style
Friday, June 2, 2017 at 9am
Reservations by May 26

Members $15

Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History and exhibition co-curator, leads this tour before the museum opens to the public.

Members-Only Gallery Talk ›
Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style
Friday, June 30, 2017 at 9am
Reservations by June 23

Members $15

Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History and exhibition co-curator, leads this tour before the museum opens to the public.

Further Reading