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Modernism Rules the Waves: The Edgy Elegance of Midcentury Liners and Cruise Ships

Join midcentury design aficionado and maritime historian Peter Knego as he takes you across the seven seas via a rarefied world of floating Midcentury Modern masterpieces.

$15 (1 hr)

Category: Presentation, Talk, CAMP Theater

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California-based Peter Knego is a widely recognized cruise journalist, maritime historian, and preservationist. He has made nine trips to the massive ship-breaking scrap yards in India to rescue artwork and fittings from the last great 20th Century liners and cruise ships, where many of these ships sadly met their demise there. He rebuilt his home, which has been featured in the New York Times, on CBS Sunday Morning and dozens of other print, web, and television outlets, into a showcase featuring the best of these rescued artifacts. Some of these items are listed for sale via his website, He also has a rapidly growing YouTube Channel, “Peter Knego’s MidShipCinema”, which features virtual tours of ships, old and new.  Part of Knego’s vast collection can be seen at the San Diego Maritime Museum in its “Steam and Splendor” exhibit that will run through the summer of 2024. 

In his presentation, Knego shares some of the glorious interiors of a select tier of Mid-20th Century liners and cruise ships that rivaled anything on land at the time. These one-off beauties were a far cry from the oversized, glitzy, Vegas-meets-amusement-park monster cruise ships of today.

From the great postwar transatlantic liners to the sleek Scandinavian cruise ships of the 1970s Love Boat era, ships were once showcases for their respective nations and featured edgy, trendsetting architecture and design elements from a cross section of greats, including Gio Ponti; Anne and Dorothy Marckwald; Kay Korbing; Gustavo Pulitzer; Michael Inchbald; Robert Tillberg; and Jack Heaney. Walk across Knego’s virtual gangway into a world of Arteluce lights; Cassina furnishings; Saarinen tulip chairs; Hockney art panels; Mascherini sculptures; Austin Purves reliefs; Emanuele Luzzati ceramics; and glass works by Franz Widerberg.

It’s all in this presentation and then some, waiting to be revisited by contemporary eyes.


Things to Know
This event is for 
12 and older.
Ample free public parking is available.
Enter underground parking at Hyatt on Palm Canyon Drive or in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available.
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location
Modernism Week Theater At CAMP

Hyatt Palm Springs
285 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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Photo Credits:  Peter Knego Collection

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