1950s: SMOOTH SAILING
In this decade, ocean travel saw its zenith and decline. Buoyed by the post-World War II economic boom, just about every passenger line, foreign and domestic, expanded their fleet. The biggest splashes were made by the United States and Rotterdam, but most new construction in this decade averaged around 25,000 gross tons.
While movements like Abstract Expressionism, and artists like Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still swept across galleries and museums around the country, designers chose to avoid a repeat of the modern artworks found in Argentina's postwar renovation. (Though Alexander Calder was briefly courted to be part of United States' interiors.)
Exploration of traditional nautical themes graced American liners in the 1950s; primarily those on the North Atlantic. Matson ships of this period dove once again into the arts of the South Seas; Grace Line the Caribbean and South America. The artworks on Moore-McCormack's new Brasil and Argentina took a more curated approach.
In 1958, Boeing's 707 entered service. Travel became a whole new ball game.