Titanic Then, Titanic Now

All Current Exhibits  March 30, 2022

She was the Ship of Dreams. Titanic was the largest ship ever built, the most beautiful, supposedly the safest. And four days into her maiden voyage, she struck an iceberg and went down. More than two-thirds of those aboard her died with her.

Ever since, she’s been a story, a symbol, a metaphor for disaster—and an entertainment. The first movie about her was made only two weeks after she sank and starred a survivor, movie star Dorothy Gibson. She’s appeared in one of the most successful movies ever made; on TV in Family Guy, Dr. Who, and Encanto; and in Black popular music, including the subversive “Shine.” Fifty years after her wreck, she motivated a Massachusetts jeweler to write to all the survivors, collect a treasure of their memories, and found the Titanic Historical Society.

And, in 1985, her wreck was found.

Titanic Then, Titanic Now looks at Titanic as she was—a lovely dream for her first-class passengers, but segregated by race and class—and as she is now, an instantly recognizable piece of our lives. Some highlights from the exhibition:

  •  Souvenirs of first-class life in 1912, from perfumes to ship’s pins
  •  Prominent Jewish passengers and Titanic’s few Black passengers
  •  Mourning for Titanic, from postcards to bears
  •  How Titanic may have saved your life
  •  The last Massachusetts survivor
  •  Titanic in the movies, on TV, and as video games
  •  A postcard that went down to visit Titanic
  •  Titanic jokes and tchotchkes


Titanic Then, Titanic Now comes to us courtesy of Brookline author Sarah Smith, who’s written a novel about Titanic and its aftermath. William Martin says about Crimes and Survivors, “Read it and be enthralled!” You can order a signed copy through Brookline Booksmith or directly from Sarah through her Web site, www.sarahsmith.com .

Not everything can be fit into an exhibit case. Sarah’s put together some playlists of videos, music, and movies about Titanic.

General Titanic playlist:

Titanic music on YouTube:
and on Spotify:

Titanic movies–good, bad, and awful. Kate Winslet’s screen test and Owlkitty!

You can reach these all from:

And on the same page, there’s a Titanic exhibit goody bag.