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"Ocean Liners: Speed and Style" Exhibition on Display at V&A Dundee

The extraordinary exhibition "Ocean Liners: Speed and Style," previously on display at the London V&A and at Salem, Massachusetts' Peabody Essex Museum, opened on Saturday, September 15th at the V&A Dundee, a new branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Scotland's first dedicated design museum.

The exhibition's opening coincides with the museum's grand opening, and the hotly-anticipated "Ocean Liners" attraction will be on display until February 24th, 2019.

The Independent wrote earlier this year that:

"[The inaugural exhibition] will explore the vessels that revolutionized travel in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Scotland’s role in the design and development of ocean liners."

Project curator Anna Ferrari inside the "Ocean Liners" exhibition at the V&A in London, where the show was previously on display before its move to Dundee. Photograph courtesy of The Courier.

The Scottsman reports that "Ocean Liners: Speed and Style" will take on a new resonance in the country responsible for building some of the world’s finest liners, including the Lusitania, Empress of Britain, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth:

"The interesting thing about the exhibition is that we haven’t had to make a specific Scottish section to make it relevant to a Dundee audience," says Sophie McKinlay, V&A Dundee’s director of programme. "It’s just an integral part of the story. It’s good that our first exhibition situates Scottish design in an international context."

Objects from America's Flagship, the SS United States, 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 video footage to the exhibition from an original United States Lines promo reel, "The SS United States At Your Service!"

A Tissot panel on show in "Ocean Liners," and as originally displayed aboard the Big U. Photographs courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Conservancy Archives Collection.

This is an exhibition not to be missed — a January review by The Telegraph noted:

"'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."


With your support, the Conservancy is building our own permanent collection of SS United States artifacts, artwork and historical documents, ensuring that the unique history of America's Flagship will never be forgotten.

Do you own objects or photographs from America's Flagship? Preserve them with the Conservancy today, and learn more about our plans for a future shipboard museum.

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