The Victorian and Albert Museum (V&A), London, has co-organised with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachussets, the first ever exhibition to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale.

The Steerage

Sponsored by Viking Cruises, Ocean Liners: Speed & Style will run at the V&A from 3rd February to 10th June in Room 39 and the North Court.

About the exhibition

The exhibition will look at various ocean liners including Brunel’s steamship, the Great Eastern, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Titanic and its sister ship Olympic, Queen Mary, Normandie, and the streamlined Modernism of SS United States and QE2.

From ground-breaking engineering, architecture and interiors to the fashion and lifestyle aboard, the exhibition will explore all aspects of ship design, re-imagining the golden age of ocean travel.

It will showcase over 250 objects, including paintings, sculptures and ship models, alongside objects from shipyards, wall panels, furniture, fashion, textiles, photographs, posters and film.

It will also display objects never seen before in Europe, while reuniting others that had not been seen together since they were on-board the vessels.

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, returning to the UK for the first time since its first and last voyage in 1912.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the Duke of Windsor’s 1940s Goyard luggage, which will be on display in Europe for the first time since leaving the Windsor Estate.

The exhibition will also feature ground-breaking works by Modernist artists, designers and architects inspired by liners, including Le Corbusier, Albert Gleizes, Charles Demuth and Eileen Gray.

Group visits

Advanced booking is advised for Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, which can be done in person at the museum, online, or you can also call 0800-912 6961.

For more information, visit

(Pictured: The Steerage, Alfred Stieglitz, 1907, Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation. Photo Credit:Victoria and Albert Museum, London.)