Ocean Liners: Speed & Style at V & A by WinkBall
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My late grandmother Freda grew up in a simple rural village in pre-Soviet Russia and, like millions of refugees fleeing Eastern Europe in the early 20 th century, travelled en masse to America in the unjolly bowels of a huge ocean liner. And so she was able to do, joining a cruise on the Queen Mary some years later. Ocean liners fired up the public imagination, revolutionised travel and connected people and places like never before. They were at once symbols of national pride and 20th century progress, showed off the cutting edge of engineering and were the epitome of luxury, romance and style. Find out more at vam.
Cunard Line — to all parts of the world, poster, Ulrich Gutersohn. Anyone who has visited the Riv will know that we have a historic relationship with Cruise. The many pictures that adorn our. Our function. Caledonia and, of course, The Cunarder.
Still, despite that PR misfortune — or possibly because of it — the notion of ocean travel, especially by steamship, is still invested with irresistible glamour. The great ships were little worlds in themselves, with inutterable glamour and style at the top and more cramped class solidarity in steerage. Think of the marine bit of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and then the episode in the film Brooklyn where our heroine is sick in a bucket, mid-Atlantic, in third class. But stop it right there. This exhibition has some artefacts and finishes with a wooden panel from the first-class lounge of the Titanic, split where the ship broke in half and floating mournfully on water as it once did on the Atlantic. Between these two vessels a whole transport culture is on display, from fabulous posters for the liners to contemporary film clips — such as Hitler on the Nazi steamship the Johannes Rey, or a moving chronicle of the strength and skill of Clyde shipbuilders. Pride of place goes to interiors from great ships of the nations such as the Normandie.