THE largest remaining panel fragment from the first class lounge of the Titanic will return to the UK for the first time since the doomed ship sailed from Southampton in 1912 for a major new exhibition about the history of ocean liners.
It will be one of more than 250 objects, including paintings, sculptures and ship models, that will go on display at the V&A’s Ocean Liners: Speed & Style exhibition next year.
The wooden panel, which comes from where the Titanic broke in half as it sank, was found floating on the surface of the Atlantic after the sinking on April 14.
Many items from the Normandie, hailed by the exhibition’s curator as the “greatest art deco works every created”, will go on display, including an interior panel from the smoking room, alongside a 26-foot model of the Queen Elizabeth from 1948 and furniture from the Queen Mary.
“It will be the first ever exhibition to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liners on an international scale and it will cover all aspects of ship design, from the engineering, architecture and interiors to the fashion and lifestyles aboard.
“Some have asked, with this tale of ocean-going enterprise across the open sea, whether this is a Brexit exhibition?
“In fact what it reveals is the remarkable intimacy of European design and collaboration even in the days of Cunard and P&O. This is a story of European design as much as British ocean-going bombast and colonial pride.”
Ocean Liners: Speed &Style, which has been co-organised by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, runs from February 3 to June 10 2018.