Step Back in Time During the 11th Annual Art Deco Festival at the Queen Mary


The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles will make its 11th annual return to the Queen Mary to host a festival for the ages aboard the historical ship. Attend at least a day of the revered Art Deco Festival and have a gaze and a gander at the murals, paintings, sculptures and wood carvings that surrounded passengers during The Golden Age of Travel.

Starting September 4 and lasting through September 7, guests will have the opportunity to experience the luxury and glamour attributed to the peak of the Art Deco movement, a time when a profound social faith in technological progress married engineering and artistic design, in stark contrast to the earlier Art Nouveau school and its emphasis on organic forms.

The Art Deco movement began after WWI and peaked as WWII came to an end. The Queen Mary's launch and sea-faring presence on the world stage coincided with the movement, and arguably remains the world's greatest example of mobile Art Deco design.

"As old as the ship is, the designs are still subliminally modern, maybe with the exception of the materials used," Honorary Commodore Everette Hoard told the Post. "You don't have the quality of art in ships today that is here."

Everett mentioned the three-deck tall Queen's Salon as one of the more wonderfully decorated grand rooms not to miss.  

The festival will bring the 1920s through 1940s into the 21st century with elaborate parties, musical entertainment, vintage dress experiences, food and beverage tastings, Queen Mary Art Deco example tours, lectures and more.

Highlights include the Deco Pajama Derby, where guests can slink into their best vintage loungewear and dance the night away to Jim Ziegler & The Swingsations, sip a martini at the vintage-inspired bar or enter the Best Vintage Loungewear contest to win cash prizes.

Festivalgoers can explore the tastes of the age at the popular Prohibition Mixology Tastings or the all-new Chef’s Tastings of the Times, a cooking demonstration and sampling of 1930s comfort foods, while the collectibles enthusiast can frequent the Golden Era Travel Showcase featuring vintage cars and a new lounge area displaying antiques and old-fashioned games.  

The soundtrack of the times will go live at the Gatsby Daze Garden Party, an afternoon spent dancing to 20s chart toppers with the 11-piece Crazy Rhythm Hot Society Orchestra. Grammy-winning Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys will waltz and foxtrot through Sunday’s Tea Dance, while the Dean Mora Orchestra performs at the most glamorous event of the weekend, the Grand Art Deco Ball.

From the cabaret dancers at the Bootlegger’s Bash or the Satin Dollz at the Martini Bar, abundant live entertainment will bring this coveted bygone era to life. Classic cocktails and moonshine will accompany jazz, swing, and big band music all weekend-long.

Daily lectures will cover various Art Deco topics and walking tours will lead enthusiasts to examine the Queen Mary’s design elements, artworks and carvings, a living art history collection built at the peak of the movement.

“The weekend turns back time onboard and allows Art Deco lovers to appreciate the elegance of the glittering past with the Queen Mary as the perfect setting,” said John Thomas, President of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and Queen Mary Historic Consultant, in a statement. “Annually increasing festival attendance and enthusiastic participation is confirmation that Art Deco is still relevant today and has inspired us to deliver a festival that is better than ever." 

Day passes start at $29 and an all-inclusive Art Deco Grand Passport is $399. Art Deco aficionados can stay onboard for the weekend’s duration with a variety of packages.

For the complete schedule of activities, pricing, tickets and more information, visit the Queen Mary's website here and the Facebook event page here.

For more information about the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, click here.

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