Object Lesson


Slim-Hipped Ocean Liners

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The Titanic may be the most famous ocean liner of all time, but naval architecture reached its high point about 15 years later with the generation of elegant, slim-hipped liners. European powers built these ships to stimulate their economies and bolster national pride during the Great Depression—they include Britain’s Queen Mary, France’s Normandie, Germany’s Europa, Italy’s Rex. The Classic Ship Collection, based in the Baltic port city of Lübeck, makes exquisitely detailed metal models of jazz-age liners, and of their predecessors and descendants as well. Each ship model is available in two versions: full-hull and waterline. At a scale of 1:1250, they’re petite enough to dock on a desktop or bookshelf. If you’re in the market for something larger, check out the 14-foot-long builder’s model of the RMS Alcantara, for sale at a Miami antiques dealership.




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About the Blogger

Ned Cramer

thumbnail image Ned Cramer is editor-in-chief of ARCHITECT, and editorial director of ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING, ECO-STRUCTURE, and METALMAG, published by Hanley Wood, a Washington, D.C.-based business media company. Prior to joining Hanley Wood, Cramer served as the first full-time curator of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), where he organized public programs and exhibitions such as "A Century of Progress: Chicago's 1933-34 World's Fair" and "New Federal Architecture: The Face of a Nation." At CAF, projects under Cramer's direction received support from foundations and corporations such as Altria, Boeing, the Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the McCormick-Tribune Foundation. He speaks regularly on architecture, design, and related issues. The Avery Architectural Index lists nearly 100 articles with Cramer's byline, many written in his former capacity as executive editor of Architecture magazine. The recipient of an Arts Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cramer has held positions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Menil Collection in Houston. Cramer is an alumnus of the Rice University School of Architecture. He was born and raised in St. Louis.