Art Deco is a style that has hitherto gained too little attention in Swedish history of art and design. With her special focus on the 1920s and 1930s Anne-Marie Ericsson, a well known author and lecturer in the Swedish design world, is the just author for this period. Therefore I open her M/S Kungsholms inredning. Mästerverk i svensk art deco [The Interior of M/S Kungsholm. A masterpiece in Swedish art deco][i] with great expectations.
As the title implies, the aim of the book is to treat the interiors of M/S Kungsholm, the show-piece of the Swedish American Line. This focus is reasonable, insofar as the exterior presented nothing new, according to the author, whereas the interior was enthusiastically received by the New York press as a “fairy tale castle” when she arrived on her maiden voyage in New York, December 1928. (p. 9).
Trying to present a reconstruction of how the ship looked, although almost nothing remains of it today, Anne-Marie Ericsson has taken upon herself a task that is not an easy one. The fate of M/S Kungsholm was unfortunate. After a glorious decade, she transported troops during World War II, incredibly enough escaped bombs and torpedoes, became a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and was finally broken up in Bilbao in 1964. By that time, the interiors had been almost entirely extinguished and the furniture plundered or sold.
[i] If not stated otherwise, all the translations from Swedish to English are my own, M.T.
2008. Vol. 77, no 4, 230-234 p.