The Lloyd Collection
The core of the exhibition is the Lloyd Collection, which changed hands over the years from the Austrian Lloyd to Lloyd Triestino and again to Italia Marittima (the only Italian container shipping company, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s Evergreen Group) until it was purchased by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region.
The Municipality of Trieste, which received the collection from the regional administration, has so far catalogued 6,200 items. This effort was coordinated by staff from the Trieste Museums of Science and the Museum of the Sea, with the support of the historians Maurizio Eliseo, Giulio Mellinato, and Sergio Vatta. It involved digitising information sheets and images relating to models of old steamers and motor ships, paintings, pottery, statues, posters, period photographs, silverware, logbooks, building plans, and the names of captains, artists, and architects. Additionally, Italia Marittima has committed, through a loan-for-use agreement, to turn over to the Museum of the Sea historical documents and items for the Municipality of Trieste to use them in the same Museum for scientific education purposes, to exhibit them during events related to the Trieste e il Mare conference cycle, and during the exhibition itself.
Maurizio Eliseo developed a keen interest in ocean liners and their history from a very young age. He initially devoted himself to scale models, including large ones, which he built after acquiring all relevant documentation. As the years went by, his collection of these documents became quite extensive, and has now become an international reference collection.
A prolific author of books on Italian and foreign ocean liners, he received the “Trasporti & Cultura” award from the University of Verona and two prestigious acknowledgements from the United States: the C. Bradford Mitchell Award from the Steamship Historical Society of America, and the 2009 Silver Riband Award from the City of New York, of whose ocean liner museum he was co-curator for three years. For over twenty years, he has worked for the world’s most prestigious shipping companies, on whose behalf he helped design, build, and manage large cruise ships. He developed the project to turn the renowned Queen Elizabeth 2 into a museum, directed the feasibility study for a “new Titanic”, and was responsible for outfitting the public lounges of Queen Mary 2 for Cunard Line, as well as the floating section of the Genoa Aquarium. Today he devotes much of his time to maritime history, authoring and producing books, documentaries, exhibitions, and events, and holding lectures in many countries.
Sergio Vatta is an art historian who was born in Trieste in 1958. From the start, his research focused on the decorative arts and on graphic arts in the advertising and publishing sectors, particularly regarding the extensive and varied body of art commissioned by Trieste’s leading shipping companies in the first half of the 20th century. He authored numerous publications and studies on Triestine artists in the early 20th century. In Trieste he worked with the Museum of the Sea, the City Library, the State Library, the Revoltella Museum, the Museums of History and Art, and the provincial administration.
Giulio Mellinato teaches economic history at the University of Milan-Bicocca, with a focus on the history of globalisation and international trade, especially the evolution of long-distance mobility systems in the upper Adriatic. Among the topics he has studied are maritime history from the mid-19th century to the present, the history of transport and infrastructure, and more broadly the social and entrepreneurial history of contemporary Europe from the 19th century to the present, with a particular focus on the integration of Venezia Giulia’s local economy into the international context as a whole. He has published extensively on the history of trade, shipping companies, and shipyards.
The graphic concept
The exhibition’s logo, created by Designwork, is inspired by the unusual double ‘L’ that begins the word Lloyd, and entrusts the letters themselves with telling a story and summing it up. This story begins with the 19th century gothic ‘L’ and is closely intertwined with the current era, as symbolised by the modern sans serif typeface. The title is written in Gotham font, whose rounded edges recall the elegant writing used on ships between two world wars. The colour combination bursts with energy and reflects the world of passenger and cargo shipping.
LLOYD. Trieste and its Ships round the World
The exhibition traces Lloyd’s role as an engine for modernity, and highlights its innovative activities in the maritime field through the early adoption of several innovations over time, from propulsion systems to hull shapes and materials, and from the organisation of services to the choice of routes and much more.
Plenty of detail attention is devoted to the creation and dissemination of human capital, culture, and organisation, and of financial and business relations that have stood the test of time, within a broader, symbiotic relationship with the city of Trieste and its community.
The exhibition displays original items, from onboard furnishings to works of art (19th century portraits of the founders of the Austrian Lloyd, works by Marcello Mascherini), from printed volumes to 60 original sketches from Sul Mare magazine, from everyday items related to life aboard a ship to the Arsenal’s greatest engineering achievements (the enormous size of the Arsenal is highlighted in the plastic relief map of Trieste in 1889), from company documents to the history of the routes sailed by steamers, and also taking in the history of the main ships, the countries and communities along the routes, promotional activities, and the company’s relationship with the city of Trieste and surrounding areas. Dozens of model ships – some on display for the very first time, including the historic model of the Victoria motor ship – depict first-hand the changes undergone by shipping over the last two centuries.