After a run in London, "Titanic. The Exhibition" has officially opened on this side of the Atlantic at 526 6th Avenue by 14th Street near Union Square.
In about 80 to 90 minutes, ticket holders come face-to-face with a selection of personal artifacts that have never before been on display in the United States, offering an intense view into the lives of the legendary ship's passengers and crew, 15,000 of whom tragically passed away on April 15, 1912 when the liner hit an iceberg on a voyage from Southampton in the United Kingdom to New York City.
Among the 200 objects on display are handwritten letters and wayward keepsakes, including a pair of shoes that belonged to one Louise Kink. The Kink family—made up of Anton, his wife Louise and their 4-year-old daughter, also Louise—were passengers in third class traveling from Zurich who ended up becoming one of the few families that survived the catastrophe intact. In fact, when the ship hit the iceberg, only the mother and her daughter were allowed to get on a lifeboat. Anton, however, was able to jump on the craft as it was being lowered into the ocean, therefore saving himself alongside his wife and child.
Third class passenger Gerda Lindell's ring is also on display at the exhibit, reminding visitors of yet another heartbreaking tale related to the maritime disaster.
When the crew announced the danger that everyone on board was facing, Gerda and her husband Edvard ran to the deck to try and get on a lifeboat. Realizing there were too many people trying to save themselves, the couple desperately jumped into the water and managed to cling onto the boat without even wearing life jackets. Edvard was able to climb in while another passenger named August Wennerstrom held onto Gerda's hand from the inside. At one point, Wennerstrom was no longer able to hold on and, as Gerda's hand slipped away, so did her ring, which landed on the floor of the boat. Edvard passed away from hypothermia a few moments later.
Exhibition viewers will likely mostly be interested in gazing at the necklace that belonged to one Kate Phillips, whose story supposedly inspired the Academy Award-winning film Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Specifically, Henry Morley was a 39-year-old English trader who was married with two young children and employeed the 19-year-old Kate at one of his shops.
"In spite of the age difference and Henry’s family situation, they fell in love with each other and bought two second-class tickets, under false names, for passage on the Titanic," explains an official press release about the exhibit. "For the four days they were on board the ship, they were seen to be deeply in love and they conceived a child that would be born nine months later, in January 1913."
At one point during their trip, Henry gifted Kate a pendant with a jewel in it and when the Titanic hit the iceberg, they both tried to get on a lifeboat but only Kate was let on and survived.
In addition to these valuable objects, visitors will also get to experience life-size recreations of some of the ship's interiors that were constructed under the guidance of historians and world-renowned Titanic expert Claes-Göran Wetterholm.
Tickets for the show are currently on sale right here.