Works of art figure prominently in a campaign promoting a French maritime exhibition at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.

The exhibit, entitled “Rendezvous With the Sea: The Glory of the French Maritime Tradition,” opened earlier this month and runs through mid-October.

One transit execution, created by Mullen in Wenham, Mass., shows a Carmagnole Brothers diving suit of the 1880s against a red background. The headline: “Only the French would try to make a fashion statement at 600 feet below sea level.”

A print ad, showing an elaborately designed vessel, states, “For French sailors, the most precious cargo was often the ship itself.”

The idea, according to cd Michael Ancevic, is to promote awareness of France’s maritime heritage through examples of art and innovation.

Print ads are running in The New York Times, Boston Globe, New England Antiques Journal, Maine Antiques Digest and local newspapers. Transit ads are appearing in Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority subway and commuter rail stations throughout the Boston area.

Mullen is also developing a new logo, as well as TV and radio spots promoting the museum’s expansion planned for May 2003.