13 August 2010

Interiors

From The Age on this day in 1935:

Furnishing a Liner.

LETTERS from France this week bear a stamp representing the Normandie on her record cross-Atlantic voyage, while the same mail brings letters and papers telling of plans for the furnishing of the great Cunarder, the Queen Mary. The interior decoration of the Queen Mary, it is said, will differ very greatly from recent essays in shipboard decoration and furnishing. It will favor neither the elaborate Renaissance scheme of another large liner, nor yet those ultra-modern lines and color adopted in recent vessels: indeed, the concentration on anti-vibration solutions will have its effect on the whole scheme, and the usual public hall appearance of diningrooms and lounges will be somewhat altered. The whole scheme is simply planned, while the designer has abandoned the old trend in ship decoration, which sought to hide from the passengers the fact that they were on a ship at all.

Panel paintings or carvings by modern artists will be a special feature in the public rooms; indeed, in London, Stanley Spencer's name has been mentioned as the painter of the great panel which will decorate one end of the colossal diningroom, which rises three decks high in the centre of the vessel. Bainbridge Copnall will be entrusted with the low relief panels dealing with the history of ship building, which will be additional decorations for this saloon. Woman artists will be included among those to be entrusted with this special mural work. Mary Adshead, with her husband, Stephen Bone, will decorate the library with two panels of youth and age; while the Misses Zinkeisen will carry out an original scheme for the cocktail bar. Among other artists whose work passengers will have an opportunity for admiring will be Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Rex Whistler, James Woodford and Edward Wadsworth.

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