The Victoria and Albert Museum has announced that relics recovered from the Titanic and Lusitania will feature in its upcoming exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & Style. 

Diamond and pearl tiara saved from the Lusitania, Cartier, Paris, 1909. Previously owned by Lady Marguerite Allan. Marian Gérard, Cartier Collection © Cartier.jpg
Diamond and pearl tiara saved from the Lusitania, Cartier, Paris, 1909. Previously owned by Lady Marguerite Allan. Marian Gerard, Cartier Collection. (c) Cartier. 

Opening at the museum from the 3rd February 2018, Ocean Liners: Speed & Style will be the first exhibition to  explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale.

This display will span across from the the mid-19th century to the late 20th century and will explore  all aspects of these mighty vessels, from the ground-breaking engineering, architecture and interiors to the fashion and lifestyle aboard.

The museum has confirmed that highlights of the exhibition will include a Cartier tiara recovered from the sinking Lusitania in 1915, as well as a panel fragment from the Titanic’s first class lounge where the ship broke in half, returning to the UK for the first time since its doomed maiden voyage in 1912.

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style will feature over 250 objects including  paintings, sculpture, and ship models, alongside objects from shipyards, wall panels, furniture, fashion, textiles, photographs, posters and film to explore how the ocean liner has been appropriated into pop-culture, literature and films.

The exhibition will begin with Brunel’s steamship, the Great Eastern of 1859 and will then go on to follow the design stories behind some of the world’s most luxurious liners, from the Beaux-Arts interiors of Kronprinz Wilhelm, Titanic and its sister ship, Olympic, to the floating Art Deco palaces of Queen Mary and Normandie, and the streamlined Modernism of SS United States and QE2.  But it will also shed light on the famous passengers  and the great couturiers who looked to ocean travel to promote their designs.

Ghislaine Wood, exhibition curator, said: “The great age of ocean liners has long passed but no form of transport has been so romantic or so remarkable. Three years in the making, this exhibition will show how liners have shaped the modern world in many ways.”

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 2nd February 2018. For more information visit: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/ocean-liners-speed-style

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