“Titans of The Sea: Vintage Advertising Posters From The Golden Age of Ocean Liners” Launches at Int The show, which runs from July - December 2012 at the InterContinental Boston, explores the romance, history and adventure of ocean travel with 10 extraordinary selections from a recently acquired col
moment its skyscraper-lined destination comes to focus. In addition, the show features the large format ‘Die Kommended Gossbauten’ (‘The Next Big Ships’), dramatically announcing the launch of the Bremen and Europa, the first two German superliners (1929). The Bremen is also depicted in artist Bernd Steiner’s poster underscoring the grand scale of the liner which dwarfs a car being lifted onboard by an unseen crane ominously signifying a shift in the global balance of power and the powerful reemergence of Germany (1930).
In the late 1920s, French poster artist A.M. Cassandre played a pivotal role in the emergence of a new Art Deco poster-style. United States Lines, formed in 1921, was a new comer to the world of ocean liner fleets previously dominated by the Europeans. As seen in the exhibit, Cassandre’s sharply geometric poster of the United States Lines’ ship funnels in red, white, and blue expresses the intentions of the upstart to join the elite group. Also the perfect expression of Art Deco is the ‘New Statendam for Real Comfort’ poster by Cassandre in which the artist conveys the messages of the streamlined, geometric design of the ship’s ventilation cowls and smoke stacks (1928).
Despite the worldwide Depression, some of history’s most spectacular ships were launched in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The arrival of the Normandie in 1935 signaled the apex of this Golden Age. It was the largest and fastest ocean liner, able to cross the Atlantic in little more than four days, and the ultimate expression of the artistic and scientific genius of France. The exhibit showcases Cassandre’s extremely rare ’60 Voyages’ version of the ‘Normandie’ poster (1938) that celebrates the successful early years of this great ship. The Normandie is also depicted in artist Montague Black’s ‘French Line CFT’ (1936) showing the mighty ship under full steam as it reaches Bishop Rock Lighthouse, the westernmost tip of Great Britain.
Also part of the show, inspired by Cassandre, the ‘Nieuw Amsterdam’ poster (1936) by Ten Broek is a dramatic and streamlined design emphasizing the ship’s speed as she cuts across the wake of a tiny sailboat. This is one the of the most successful Art Deco ocean liner posters.
The global depression and rising international tensions brought an end to this period of carefree and relaxed travel, and when World War II broke out, orders were given to convert many cruise liners into troop carriers. A fervent arms race inspired development of faster, more reliable aircraft, which ushered in a permanent decline in the popularity of travel on the high seas. The Golden Age of the Ocean Liner nevertheless continued into the 1950s and early 1960s when transatlantic crossings were joined by a strong increase in pleasure cruises. In the exhibit, Italian poster artist Rene Gruau’s ‘Relax’ poster (1954) of an Audrey Hepburn-like beauty, dozing in the sun onboard, is a classic of travel poster art.
About Lannan Ship Model Gallery
Founded in 1967, Lannan Ship Model Gallery is a 6,000 sq. ft. gallery