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"Ocean Liners: Speed and Style" Arrives at London's V&A Museum

"As the largest machines of their age by far, ocean liners have become powerful symbols of progress and 20th-century modernity. No other form of transport was so romantic, so remarkable or so contested."

"Ocean Liners: Speed and Style," a new exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, opens February 3rd, and explores the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner around the world. Running through June 17th, the exhibition highlights many of the world's greatest liners — including the SS United States, Titanic, Normandie, Queen Mary and more!

A model of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in the V&A exhibition, "Ocean Liners: Speed and Style." Photograph from Victoria and Albert Museum.

The exhibition is curated by the V&A in collaboration with Salem, Massachusetts' Peabody Essex Museum, who displayed their own version of "Ocean Liners" in the summer of 2017. The Conservancy's coverage of the Peabody Essex exhibition, including photographs of the items on display, can be seen HERE and HERE.

In London, objects from America's Flagship are well represented among the more than 250 items showcased. Highlights include one of the Big U's iconic deck chairs, a Charles Lin Tissot "Snowflake Crystal Montage” panel from the ship's private dining room, the original Hales Trophy awarded to the holder of the Blue Riband and a luggage set as used by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor aboard the SS United States. The Conservancy also contributed footage to the exhibition from the United States Lines promo reel, "The SS United States At Your Service!"

The flags in the exhibition's swimming pool display are modeled after signal flags behind the Big U's onboard pool, and read: "Come on in, the water's fine."

Luggage set owned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Photographs from Victoria and Albert Museum.

A January 31st review by The Telegraph notes: "Ocean Liners: Speed and Style is a surprisingly sophisticated exhibition. It will satisfy those who yearn, nostalgically, for the glamour of a lost age. At the same time, it will sate those with an appetite for serious analysis of modern design."

CLICK HERE to learn more about the exhibition and schedule your visit today!


Thanks to our many generous supporters and donors, the Conservancy's curatorial collections continue to grow. Together, we're building the world's largest collection of SS United States artifacts, art and historical documents, ensuring that the unique history of America's Flagship will never be forgotten.

Do you own artwork, objects or photographs from America's Flagship? Click HERE to find out how you can make a donation, or reach out at

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