Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. The exhibition, a detailed rundown of the spectacular exhibition currently open at the Victoria & Albert museum, London.
On the 3rd of February, 2018, a major exhibition regarding the design & evolution of the ocean liner, opened at the V&A, The Victoria & Albert Museum of decorative arts, London England.
It is without question the most comprehensive dedicated display on the subject ever created. The exhibition was devised between the major world institutions of the United Kingdoms V&A, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and PEM, The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA, in the US. Years of planning and hard work have gone into the exhibit, items have been sourced from around the globe, from major art institutions, galleries, museums, to single collectors far and wide. The exhibition runs until 17th of June in London, it will then move and become the first show to open the new V&A Dundee museum in September, the museum being the first dedicated museum to the decorative arts outside London.
We arrive outside the illustrious institute that is the V&A, a bastion of the arts, the biggest museum dedicated to the decorative arts in the world. Founded in 1852, it was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The museum was one of the pinnacles of an arts quarter that includes amongst others the world famous Natural History Museum, The Royal Albert Hall and the Science museum. The quarter was established as a byproduct after the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851, having been the brainchild of Prince Albert himself. Today the museum continues to foster his vision, in the words of the museums mission statement:-
“Our mission is to be recognised as the world's leading museum of art, design and performance, and to enrich people's lives by promoting research, knowledge and enjoyment of the designed world to the widest possible audience.”
Pursers Locker are very proud to have been involved in this exhibition.
Please join me as we journey around the exhibit, highlighting key artefacts along the way…..
And so after traversing through the spectacular lobby and spaces of the V&A we make our way to the gallery that will house the exhibit until June. Unlike PEM’s exhibit in Salem there is no spectacular grand entrance, we enter through humble mahogany doors, but this belies what lays ahead. We find ourselves on a quayside, ahead of us the mass of a soon to be departing liner, as-strewn with streamers from decks high above, water shimmering on the hull of the ship.
Promoting the Liners.
And so we embark on our journey through the exhibition, this first space is dedicated to Promoting the liners. The space is crammed full of advertising material from the late nineteenth century until the 1970’s.
The legendary Normandie makes her first appearance here, this time in the form of a beautiful mural commissioned for the French pavilion at the Worlds Fair, depicting the famous liner at her home berth. This mural acts as a grand wall.
Almost jumping out of us is surely one of exhibitions prize exhibits, the legendary Bassett Lowke builders model of the RMS "Queen Elizabeth", produced in c-1938. It was one of at least four of this scale, two for the US market and two for the home market. This example for years had resided in Science Museums history of ships gallery, just across the road, which was sadly closed a couple of years ago. Each model was produced from a single log of white mahogany, laminated. The fittings are all gilded or silvered metal, each porthole is meticulously reproduced. Today these models, along with the matching examples produced for her earlier sister, "Queen Mary" are rightly considered the finest shipbuilders models ever made, as well as still being amongst the largest Ocean Liners models ever created.
Unlike PEM, the V&A decided to retain the model within its bespoke bronze & glass art deco cabinet, this was due to the constraints of space. It looks no less spectacular than PEM’s sister model.
The remainder of this galleries artefacts centre on the idea of promotion and advertising. Everything is here, from beautiful art deco brochures to some of the most iconic travel posters ever produced, a feast for the eyes.
Just one of the incredible pieces of advertising material, this piece, which at one time passed through the hands of the late, great Ken Shultz, is huge in scale. Its interesting how the company were trying to in effect 'decofy' the ageing edwardian sisters in the changing times when competition represented the likes of CGT's cutting edge "Ille De France”.
Mounted high above us are the monumental letters of Cunard's 1960's era logo, the logo still in use to this day. These letters have a particular place in my heart, they hail from the front of the beautiful Southwestern House, the former grand Edwardian railway hotel, in Southampton. In place from the 1960's until the mid 1990's, the building housed Cunard's head office. Southampton is my home town and for years I would look up these letters. In 1996 Cunard moved to new purpose built facility elsewhere in the city, and a local company cleared the old offices. These letters were thrown in a skip, thankfully the gentleman clearing the offices spotted and saved them. My mother bought them for me from him for my 16 birthday, they have been with me ever since, so it was a real thrill to see them mounted so proudly on display at this major exhibition, first in Salem MA and now here at the V&A, London.
Also featured is a spectacular name plaque from the ground breaking Orient/P&O liner, the Oriana of 1959. This amongst many of the artefacts found throughout the exhibit comes from the incredible collection of P&O Heritage.
With the first space completed we head to embark our very own liner and walk over the gangway leaving the dockside behind.
We venture back into the warmth of the passenger accommodations, this time during the High Edwardian era, the grand Beaux-Arts and the gilded age.
The Gilded Era.
We begin with the English Arts & Crafts movement, were we see an honesty to construction and materials. Leading lights in the movement are all here, from monumental tiles panels from P&O line vessels by the renown potter & tile artist, William De Morgan, to designs by William Morris and Dr Christopher Dresser. These humble simple techniques and styles contrast sharply with what else was happening in design.
We are assaulted by the grandness and style of the gilded age in full monumental force, set off by perhaps one of the most famous and iconic pieces of Ocean Liner interior design ever produced, "Honour & Glory, Crowing time", from the RMS "Olympic".
Without question one of the stars of the show, this epic carved panel from the ships iconic Grand Staircase is beautifully displayed at a high level, far better displayed that its usual home of Southampton's Sea City Museum. The carving stands and looms above us, much as it did onboard Olympic when you would have transcended the staircase, crowned by it famous dome above.
I am very pleased Southampton Council allowed this panel for inclusion into the exhibition, I have known this panel all my life since first seeing as a small boy in the city's old Maritime Museum, the Wool House. It is like an old friend, it seems fitting that it traveled across the Atlantic one more time, first to be at the PEM exhibit and now back once more in London.
Detailed views of the Olympic panel, for the first time we can properly see the detail of the griffins that support the main panel. For years this panel has been poorly mounted, pretty much on ground level. Finally we get to enjoy its grandeur, viewing it at a more appropriate level.
In the PEM exhibit Honour & Glory, crowning time, was poignantly set off against the famous retrieved panel from Titanic’s 1st Class lounge. This now appears later in the exhibit and in effects ends the show, it is discussed in detail later.
This carving leads on nicely to what the French were fitting out their liners with at the same time. The classical themes are all here again and repeated but perhaps on a grander scale. Thankfully the French Line Archive, in Le Havre, has managed to hold onto a vast collection of original paneling and material from such stalwart liners at the SS "France" of c-1912. The exhibit has made great use of major elements from the archive, including vast panels from the corridor space around the liners 1st Class Lounge, to the doors that lead into it. A major section of the “France” is recreated here, complete with a faux dome above. We have original gilded wrought iron doors, paneling and even original ships furniture, its about as close to stepping onboard the SS “France” as you are ever likely to get.
We then hit another crazy juxtaposition, leaving the Beaux Arts of the last century and dive into the wonderful period of the interwar years and the start of the of Modernism into Art Deco.
French Lines famous early interwar liners are well represented, its not all Normandie. Several artefacts are on display from the famous 'Ille De France', including an art panel from a suite and iconic furniture from her lounge and dining room.
We then come around from the French Modern to English Art Deco, I am pleased to say a strong representation here centres on my favourite liner, the RMS "Queen Mary". Her importance is nicely displayed here, often seen behind the fabled Normandie, Queen Mary was just as influential in her own way. Her successful interior style strongly influenced British design for years, and although far less grand than her French counterpart and her famous Grand Lux appointments, Queen Mary embodied an approachable scale of warmth, love and heart the French superstar never found, its great that this exhibition puts that forward like never before.
The Queen Mary artefacts and one from her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth, create a warm heart to the exhibit. The marquetry panel displayed beyond is very typical of the style and artistry that could be found throughout the Queen Mary, this example however is from the British India Liner, SS "Uganda", and typifies the level of skill and english craftsmanship still found in Britain after the war, this dating from 1952, as good as anything created for the Queen Mary 16 years before, but created by the same skilled craftspeople.
Here we have displayed the iconic and for years thought lost, aluminium relief plaque by Maurice Lambert, 'Speed & Progress' originally hung outside the pre war Travel Bureau, on loan from the Miottel collection.
The iconic aluminium relief panel, 'Speed & Progress', by Maurice Lambert. Original installed outside the Queen Mary's Cabin (First) Class travel bureau.
A suite of original furniture, as designed and built from the Cabin (First) Class pre war Long Gallery, c-1936, RMS 'Queen Mary'. The arm chair is of particular note as being one of only a handful of pieces to survive in its original fabric from 1936. In this case the fabric is a sea green with pink corral decoration, and synonymous with the ships careful 'autumnal shades' colour scheme found throughout the ship in the pre war period.
The vase shown above, from the RMS 'Queen Elizabeth', dates from c-1938 and was designed and hand thrown by the famous Pool Pottery, Dorset, England. It was produced to sit within one of the niches of the ships main 2nd Class staircase. It was returned to Poole Pottery in the 1960's to be repaired but never returned to the ship. Its partners onboard would all be destroyed in the fire that would consume the liner in Hong Kong in the 1970's. I purchased the vase from Christies in the early 2000's when they held the dispersal sale of Poole's archive after the company was sold.
All three items pictured above hail from my own personal collection.
The stunning and surprisingly large scaled Herbert Davis Richter's portrayal of Queen Mary's main dining room, produced for Cunard White Star Line to promote the new liner in 1936.
A sketch by Doris Zinkeisen for one of her main murals in the Verandah Grill, c-1935. Seeing this for the first time, it was wondrous to behold Doris's early ideas and intentions for the final mural. This along with many other highly significant articles hail from the collection of Stephen S. Lash, a noted marine collector. It is with great thanks that Mr Lash has loaned items from his amazing collection, at the opening of the exhibition there was talk that Mr Lash intends to gift the majority of his collection to PEM, PEM's collection will be all the richer for that truly amazing gift
One of many amazing articles sourced for the exhibit is this rare survivor, a test sample of hand tufted carpet by Templetons, of the main rug for Queen Mary's 1st (Cabin) Class drawing room. Its colour and quality are stupendous.
Included in this glittering array are two items that represent faith at sea, and the devotional services aboard the RMS "Queen Mary". The Queen Mary when completed in 1936 was the first ship to have a truly dedicated synagog as built, specific and not a multi use space as found on other liners such as Normandie. This was incredibly significant, Cunard White Star Line, although undoubtedly thinking of the bottom line, went above and beyond in its plans for its new liner included a dedicated space. It was testament to this space and attitude of welcome on its flag ship that drew a huge following, its not easy to quantify but this simple but effective effort & gesture by Cunard White Star helped at least in some small part in the escape of Jews from a tide change in attitude across Europe & Germany, to the US in the dark days prior to WW2.
The ship was well appointed for most religions, mixed dominion services were held on Sundays at sea within the First Class Lounge. The ships First Class Drawing Room could easily be converted into space for Roman Catholic services. Whilst the First Class Library could also be converted for religious services when the need arose. A similar function in the ships 2nd Class Reading & Writing Room would occur, the latter being hidden when not in use, the Queen Mary was a dynamic floating mutli domination church at sea!
The epic 'Madonna of the Atlantic' by the renown marine artist, Kenneth Denton Shoesmith. This stunning and large scale work was hidden behind folding doors, adorned with one of his famous market scenes which corresponded to its companion at the end of the room over the fireplace. It was said this was Winston Churchill's favourite room onboard. He was known to have used it as an office and often held press conferences here if travelling onboard.
Its hard to appreciate the scale of Shoesmith's masterpiece, but if you think that the Madonna is not far off life size, you can get some indication of scale.
The detail in this work is extraordinary, at her feet lay the equipment needed to transverse the North Atlantic, charts and maps of the great ocean lie rolled up, a sextant, globe, lantern and hourglass all symbolise faith, the sea and the ships great journey, the North Atlantic being centre on the globe.
Shoesmith's style is brilliantly used to highlight the Christ child, carefully outlined in royal blue, very similar to his use of colour and detail outline he was famous for with his countless advertising posters of the period.
The stunning and beautiful Torah Ark, from the RMS "Queen Mary", designed by noted synagog designer, Cecil Jacob Eprile. Sadly no longer within the collection of the ship itself. Apparently donated to a local synagog in Long Beach upon the ships arrival to the city in 1967, it was poorly treated and was almost lost until someone noticed its importance, rescuing it. It was purchased by the Magnes Museum, Berkley, CA. Where it was beautifully restored. If ever there was a room onboard the ship that deserved a full restoration, the ships internationally important synagog would be it, I cannot think of a better space to mark and commemorate the ships sterling work before and during the war and as memorial to those lost.
An interesting note of design is the use of veneer, the main body of the ark is quarter sawn oak, laid over each other in opposing directions to create the shadow effect seen here, this was the same technique used within the ships 2nd class dinning room. The gilt cast metal work bears striking similarities to the fire dogs found within the three fireplaces in the First Class Lounge.
We leave the charm of English Art Deco behind and enter a section devoted to the ships of state, the legendary liners of the Germany and France, Normandie of course eclipses here, our senses are assaulted, and we are not disappointed in the fine array of items from her.
This space is largely dominated by the outstanding breathtaking compete monumental lacquered panel by Jean Dunand, ‘Les Sports’ 1935. In one of the exhibits most successful and impressive spaces, the exhibit designers have recreated a corner of the fabled Normandie. Much like the recreation of the SS “France” in the gallery previously, this is the closet you are ever likely to come to experiencing, albeit a fraction of what that legendary ship of light must have felt like. The designers have cleverly constructed a faux floating ceiling with design elements from the Normandie’s principal grand public rooms, including the grand staircases linking them. Mirrors are used to create the illusion of the giant spaces once found onboard. This set up brilliantly showcases this giant lacquer panel, originally one of four, this is the only one to survive in its largely unaltered size. The others being reused and cut down such as the example reinstalled on the “Liberte” post war. It is a grand treat to see this panel in all its majestic glory.
No Ocean Liner exhibit would be complete without the inclusion of at least one Verre eglomise (reverse painted glass in gold, silver and palladium leaf) by Jean Dupas, from the panel, 'The Rape of Europa" from the ships 'Grand Salon' 1st Class lounge. Also included are the iconic table and chair from the same space, designed by Jean-Maurice Rothschild, manufactured by Baptistin Spade, with the classic Aubusson tapestry designed Emile Gaudissard.
The majority of the items relating to the Normandie hail from several sources, but the main contributors other than PEM's own collection are from the noted Miottel Museum, Berkeley CA. And Mario J. Pulice, New York, collection, as well as the aforementioned French Line archives major assistance. Again it is with great thanks that such an awesome assembly from the fabled liner was possible to these generous collectors & institutions to enable this to happen.
The politics of style, Post-war liners.
We leave the heady heights of the pinnacle of French Ocean Liner design behind to enter a more familiar and modern feel of the post war liners. Being held at the V&A, there is a strong British flavour to this section
The groundbreaking interior design of the Orient Lines SS ‘Orion’, one of the first true ship interiors carried out by an architect as opposed to the standard practice of designers or the shipyards themselves. Fanatic original artists renderings of her monumentally important interiors are shown. Orient Line was one of the strongest champions of using contemporary design not only to promote their services but the whole passenger experience onboard the companies steamers. This pure handle on contemporary design continued right up to the 1960’s with the pinnacle of Ocean Liner creation, the liners “Oriana” and later P&O Orient Lines “Canberra” of 1961. Thanks again to the P&O Heritage archive, this section is a fest of high end english decorative arts at such an influential time.
This section is dominated by monumental oil on panel, ‘The English Pub’ by the renown Edward Bawden. This striking panel captures perfectly the new elizabethan era, post war, emboldened by the influence of the Festival of Britain of 1951, a look that would resonate in the UK for decades.
The international mid century style is well represented, a stellar line up includes:- bronze sculpture, 'Dancer with seagulls' by Marcello Mascherini, originally installed on the SS "Franca C", latter reused and installed on the SS "Eugenio C”. Chair by Gio Ponti, manufactured by Cassina, for the First Class Dining Room of the SS "Conti Grande", c-1948.
Beyond this can be seen two outstanding light fixtures from the collection of the great Ocean Liner aficionado and saviour, Peter Knego, and his astonishing mid-century collection, another significant lender to the exhibition
A closeups of Peter Knego's stunning light fixtures.
SS ‘United States’, one of the screens from the ships ballroom, with its underwater world & corral theme, in breathtaking illuminated plate glass. Also included one of the “United Sates” iconic 'propeller' tables, especially designed for the liner.
QE2, single restaurant chair by Robert Heritage.
If there is one area that somewhat lacks in the exhibition, its the absences of any significant artefacts from the iconic QE2. The ship is represented by a single chair & poster featuring BA’s Concorde inflight over the famous liner, it seems a great shame that such a bastion of the North Atlantic is so poorly represented. This is a result of several factors, ultimately QE2's own fate. Many iconic items from the ships design remain onboard, one need only think of the four seasons statues of the Princess Grill or tapestries of the ships launch, as examples. Sadly the ship seems to have become somewhat of an enigma. The doors to the ship are locked tight, and no-one seems to know who the gate keeper is. Another disappointment is the absence of Cunard/Carnival to have been involved. As I understand it they were approached but declined interest, instead leaving Royal Caribbean to sponsor the PEM exhibit and Viking to sponsor the V&A as the only shipping companies to sponsor it. It mystifies me that a company marketing itself with the tag line 'The Worlds Greatest Ocean Liners', falls short to help preserve its historical legacy. The exhibit ends with a beautiful huge builders model of one of Viking’s new builds, when we should have been seeing a large scale model of QM2, it certainly feels like a missed opportunity.
This gallery is concluded with great, pure english design at its best, again relying heavily on the collections of P&O Heritage. An icon ‘Neptune’ chair by Ernest Race for Canberra is sat below two maquette's of ‘Tidal movements’ by Mary Martin, for Oriana, c-1960.
The engineering of the liner.
We move on to the next gallery, this space concentrates on the machine that was the Ocean Liner, here we see beautiful engineering models, ships hulls abstractly displayed, further builders models, propeller miniatures and so on.
Amongst the many varied and fine treasures in this space we have an original platers model & hull for the “Queen Elizabeth”.
A detailed cross section model of the Conte di Savoia, showing her revolutionary but short-lived dynamos, supposed to cure the ships rolling in heavy seas, it actually ended up magnifying the effects creating serious movement resulting in mass seasickness amongst the passengers, the dynamos were soon abandoned. Also displayed a beautiful model of the Great Eastern as built and a model of the iconic "Normandie".
Other exhibits in this space run from the sublime to the ridiculous.
From a wooden mould for one of QE2's original turbines…………..
We leave the gritty hard reality of the dirt & steam of the engine room and emerge into the fantasy of the Ocean Liner, in a surreal turn we enter the largest space in the exhibition, this is the Ocean Liner as seen through the eyes of Hollywood and fashion.
We are greeted by 'Come on in, the waters fine' as spelled out by signal flag, the enamel letters formerly installed within the pool onboard the SS "United States”, These flags act as a screen to a fictional open epic lighted swimming pool seen beyond. We are welcomed into this spectacular space by a CGT French Line Bellboy in uniform, of the type used onboard the SS "France" of c-1961.
We walk onto the recreation of a grand promenade or boat deck, complete with railing and planks. Giant digital screens loam over us of the open Atlantic racing past us, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, the QE2 as build steams past us from a head, from behind an equally spectacular recreation of the grand dame herself, the SS “Normandie”, passes. It is a touching and clever piece of exhibition design.
Also within this space is the evolution of the steamer chair, represented by not just any old steamer chair, but one recovered from the Atlantic in C-1912, and hailing from the ill fated "Titanic". Next in line is a red lacquered example for CGT from the SS "Normandie" C-1935, and to finish an aluminium example from the Big U, SS "United States" C-1952.
This leads us into the main space, a spectacular open nights sky opens out over us as if we are on the deck of a liner, mid Atlantic, at night. The centre of the space is made up of flowing sails with moving images of the golden days of Hollywood, graphically capturing the zeitgeist of the age.
Around the rooms confines with have various displays, a stateroom is recreated from the 1920’s liners of France, L’Atlantique, Ill De France and so on, featuring the rich wood inlaid paneling and furniture by Ruhlman.
Continuing with this rich theme we are quickly contrasted with the english liners at the start of the twentieth century. We have a recreation of a First Class stateroom as found on the RMS ‘Mauretania’. A beautiful hand carved crib like bed with cain sides, this particular piece brilliant shows Ocean Liner furniture in its purest form. This is like a bespoke suit, it is truly unique. Tailored to fit the contours and sheer of the liner, the arch of the liners hull that this bed once abutted is captured, a snapshot of a long lost liner. Great care and attention to recreate the correct period bedding and the bed itself being re polished shortly before the exhibit and the inclusion of a correct period washstand compact perfectly set off this cabin/stateroom recreation.
The Pursers Locker are proud to have loaned the stateroom bed to the V&A exhibit.
Fashion is a heavy element in this final major space, several fine historic outfits & jewellery from the rich and famous are featured, from the great days of Hollywood and the golden era of steamship travel.
The centre of this space is taken up by huge screens in the form of vast fluttering sails featuring original films projected upon them, recreating the 'grande decent', of ladies in high fashion entering the dining room via grand staircases found on such liners as the "Normandie" & "Ille De France".
One of Dietrich's famous couture outfits one worn onboard the RMS 'Queen Elizabeth', beside Goyard luggage formerly belonging to the Duke & Duchess of Windsor.
We then come across small but extensive cross-section of ocean liner ceramics as used onboard, dating from the 1840's to the early 20th century. This collection belongs to Peter & Pam Laister, dear friends that I have know for years. Their collection of steamship china must surly be amongst if not the best in the world. They have loaned multiple items for the exhibition.
Next is a deluxe full table setting from Normandie, complete with almost every imaginable piece of bespoke silverware & crystal created for the French Icon.
The stunning illuminated art panel with inset cut and polished crystal elements from the Big U, SS "United States” acts as a grand theatrical backdrop to another recreation of life onboard the liners.
The age of traveling as a child is also displayed in this space. Utterly charming children's playroom nautical equipment especially designed for the iconic SS "Canberra", C-1961, set in front of equally charming original panels from the same space by Edward Ardizzone, of nursery rhymes. Again special mention must be made to P&O Heritage, who's major support of this exhibition and the loan of multiple items was invaluable.
Children's equipment & art from the Normandie's First Class children's room is also prominently featured, and acts as the penultimate exhibit before the final closing space.
We enter a space that features the legacy of the Ocean Liner through to the modern day.
What Ocean Liner fan can not have been influenced by seeing the golden age of the liner on the silver screen, what ever film it was, it most likely had a lasting effect. For me seeing the original 'The Poseidon Adventure' or the brief appearance of the burnt out Queen Elizabeth in 'The Man With The Golden Gun' all left an indelible mark. So its only fitting that its influence be marked and recorded here at the tale end of the exhibition. I cannot think of a better or more influential film than original 'The Poseidon Adventure' from 1972. Its self a story loosely based on a stormy crossing on the Queen Mary, fitting the ship would later play the Poseidon in the 1972 film. To mark this the exhibition the curators created a film montage from The Poseidon Adventure, The French Line, The Legend of 1900 and of course Titanic,
The final major exhibit and possibly one of the most significant can be found here. One of the highlights of the show, from the same hands that carved the clock panel from the RMS “Olympic” (seen earlier in the exhibit) comes the large panel from the Titanic, recovered from the Atlantic in 1912, the beautiful and stunning 1st Class Lounge panel fragment. The carving has been beautifully but simply mounted on a plinth, again uncovered without protection or a cover, allowing us to view the panel much as we would have done had we'd been walking around the public rooms of the Titanic herself. It is displayed in the centre of the room as if still adrift on the open Atlantic, an effect made all the more believable by the rippling water light effects in this otherwise dark & mysterious space. The piece speaks volumes without saying a word, it resonates the countless tales and fables established that cold crisp, April night, over 100 years ago.
It must be noted that thanks be given to the panels home, The Museum of the Atlantic, for allowing the panel out for us to see.
Close up details of the panel fragment that originally stood above the main entrance doors out of the lounge. Its near identical sister panel can still be seen to this day in the town of Alnwick, where the near fully preserved 1st Class Lounge now resides in the White Swan Hotel, from her sister ship, "Olympic". This panel is also of course the inspiration of the section Rose clings to in the film 'Titanic' (1997).
The legacy of the Ocean Liner, comes to a close with a model of the latest new build of Viking Line.
And so ends the most comprehensive exhibition ever created to the testament of the fabled Ocean Liner.
For both PEM and the V&A's exhibition, a special and beautifully produced catalogue book has been produced, you can buy it direct from both institutions and online. For Ocean Liner fans it is a must have, its full of hundreds of beautiful colour photos of original publicity material and detailed pictures of many of the artefacts within.
I would like to close this blog with a huge thank you to the following people I had the pleasure to meet during my visit to private view at the V&A, A special thank you to the exhibitions co-curators, Ghislaine Wood & Daniel Finamore, without whose vision and skill this exhibition would not exist.
A special thank you to Anna Ferrari, Project Curator, whose skill and warmth have been instrumental to this being a truly great show.
And a special thank you to both Meredith More, Research Assistant for Ocean Liners and Assistant Curator for the Scottish Design Galleries, V&A, & George Schwartz, Curatorial Scholar at PEM.
A big shout out must also be made to the exhibition designers, Casson Mann. A major internationally renown design practice, Casson Mann have been responsible for numerous major exhibitions, including the award wining Cabinet War Rooms, the British wing at the V&A amongst many others. The class and caliber of their skill is shown throughout this incredible show, it would not have looked like this without them. This speaks strongly of the company's pedigree, it must be remembered that the 'Casson' element of the firm is the daughter of the late great post war designer, Hugh Casson. Casson, amongst other notable commissions was responsible for the interior design for the Royal apartments onboard the RY 'Britannia', major elements of the Festival of Britain of 1951 as well as his sterling work onboard the iconic 'Canberra'.
It was a honour to be involved, albeit in a small part, in such a successful and fantastically staged show.