Sailing In Style

Guest post by Sophie Nash-Jones

Sixties glamour is brought to us by The Glasgow School of Art who are presenting the QE2 50 YEARS LATER exhibition starting this month. This exhibition celebrates the 50 years since the last great Clyde-built passenger liner left the River Clyde before beginning what became a highly successful career for the Queen Elizabeth 2 as a trans-atlantic liner and cruise ship.

This exhibition features the ships design and its interiors, which represented a high point for British post-war design, involving British architects, industrial, interior and graphic designers. Curated by Bruce Peter, Professor in Design History at The Glasgow School of Art, this exhibition is showcased through imagery, text and ephemera to celebrate and inform the public of the history of the ship.

Renowned for being a part of the best of British design, the QE2 was conceived to be convertible, able to serve two classes; a truly 'classless' ship and floating hotel that reflected contemporary design. Its design was carefully planned, with a kitchen that served the three restaurants aboard the ship laid out to ensure the paths of waiters never crossed. Modern materials at the time such as plastic laminates, aluminum and plexiglasss were used in its production, a world away from the wooden, Art Deco styles of the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

Each Clyde-built Cunard ship created a speed, technology and luxury that hadn’t been seen before. The QE2 was no exception to this and brought with it a great achievement in shipbuilding, life-saving wartime service, and the glitz of the Hollywood stars.

QE2 5O YEARS LATER, 10 February - 4 March 2018 

Reid Ground Floor, Corridor Reid Building, The Glasgow School of Art, 164 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6RF

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