|The home page. The use of circular images gives the impression of portholes.|
The tag line: It is art. It is history. Is it art history? (Ay, there's the rub.)
A little cheesy, but there's no need to get too serious.
|The New Deal portion has been the most intriguing chapter.|
Originally, the website was to focus on the Jackson-class, but many of the winners received commissions for other liners, so the scope expanded. Focusing on newly-built ships, the story starts with Matson Line's Malolo in 1927 and ending with the nuclear ship Savannah in 1962; covering about 50 ships total. The Malolo utilized art depicting scenes of Hawaii and California, as that was her route, while the Savannah is unique for artworks loaned by the Whitney Museum of American Art.
|The story ends with the nuclear ship Savannah, which is still afloat in Baltimore.|
Organized by decade (1920s, 1930s, etc.), these American ships will be placed in an even broader context, as you'll be able to look at artworks on foreign liners, like Empress of Britain, Bremen, Normandie, Queen Mary, Andrea Doria, and Rotterdam, to name a few. The fun part has been locating images with identifiable artworks in clear focus; not always an easy task. As a result, not all artworks can be shown.
|It's been amazing the amount of resources consulted and/or gathered in this project; |
book covers are shown in the "portholes." Many will be shown in the Odds & Ends tab.
Phase One will take care of the basics: a little history, minor observations, and the obligatory Facebook page to drive traffic and conversation. (And acceptance that the site will continue to evolve, and not be 100% perfect right out of the gate.) Phase Two will include more observations, comparisons, exploration of themes, and the possible addition of more ships. Phase Three will include a book deal, traveling exhibit, perhaps a lecture tour, because why not? If we're going to do this, let's do it up right.
The Peabody Essex Museum, in cooperation with the Victoria and Albert Museum, just wrapped up Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, dedicated to all aspects of the ocean liner culture. Alas, I wasn't able to make the trip to see it, but I do have the book, and it's very well done, but with little emphasis on our side of "the pond." *grumble grumble* It does make for a nice benchmark, though.
Anyway, I think things are on track to launch sometime in March 2018. See you on the "maiden voyage!"