This bas-relief aluminium map of the world on the promenade decks aft foyer (ballroom foyer) measured 4 x 2 meters (11 feet x 4 1/2 feet).
the vessel's current position on the seven seas was charted with a miniature America on this map, controlled from the bridge by a magnetic mechanism.
whereabouts of artwork: stayed aboard until 1994, saved from the wreck and today in private ownership on Fuerteventura.
"Neptun" by André Durenceau.
Mural aboard America in 1940.
This six-meter (20 feet)-wide mural is devoted entirely to the mythology of the seas. You can see the sea god Neptune and his wife Amphitrite riding over the waves in a chariot drawn by four horses. Several water nymphs (nereids) follow the quadriga in the background. Also seen are the four winds, which according to the legend, Neptune threatened after they attacked the fleet of Aeneas in the name of his sister Juno and thus put his absolute power into question.
The scenery is mostly done in red and silver and reflects the predominant colors chosen for the ballroom.
whereabouts of artwork: This mural was carelessly stored in 1941 after being removed from the ship during the USS West Point conversion. After the war it was in very bad condition and couldn't be restored. It was replaced in 1946 by the mural "The Circus" by Charles Baskerville.
"Abiquiu"- mural in 3. class lounge by Fremont F. Ellis.
Fremont F. Ellis, New Mexican artist, draws the inspiration for his mural in the 3. class lounge from his native Southwest. The canvas depicts the village of Abiquiu. It was originally founded by Spanish colonists, later occupied by the Ute tribe and rebuilt in 1754 by settlers.
whereabouts of artwork: Most likely removed in 1961 during the conversion of America in a two class ship. The 3. class lounge was converted into tourist class cinema.
New York Syline by Pierre Bourdelle.
A painting of the New York skyline by Pierre Bourdelle was decorating the foyer of the first class dining room on A-deck.
Unfortunately no photograph of this wall relief done in the same style as Bourdelle's work in the first class dining room could be found. The picture on the left is a greatly enlarged section of an image of the first class dining room on which parts of the wall relief are visible through the glass windows of the entrance doors. On the right side appears to be the stylized Empire State Building and through the left window you can see more skyscrapers and possibly the supporting cables of a bridge.
Nothing known about the whereabouts.
(If someone wants to share a better image of this artwork, I would be happy to replace it.)
Oil painting of the spanish settlement Abiquiu aboard America.
André Durenceau working on Neptun- mural.
about the artist: When André Maurice Durenceau (1904 - 1985) created his mural "Neptune" for the ballroom of America in late 1939, he was 34 years old and already at the peak of his career. In the same year he had already performed contract work for the World's Fair in New York.
Born in Auray (France) Durenceau emigrated to the United States when he was 24 years old. He earned his living as a color consultant for the then new Technicolor process for color films in Hollywood. During this time he was also hired for his first major commissions. Soon he was called "the best contemporary muralist of the century" in distinguished art circles. His use of color and shapes was very courageous and open minded. He himself didn't think of his talent as a miracle but as the product of hard work. Durenceau as quoted in a newspaper article: "You must work. You cannot be an artist in five years. A lifetime is better. You must know the fundamentals. That is the trouble with so many modern artists- they start crazy. You must start traditional- and then branch off. [...] Modern art is all a mess. But it is a good mess. You know what I mean?"
Murals of the 2. class smoking room by Glenn Moore Shaw.
Glenn Moore Shaw thematized the discovery of America by the Europeans in his two murals in the second class smoking room. On one side of the room the discovery by Columbus which was for centuries believed to be the first can be seen.
Depicted is the famous navigator with the Spanish flag and a symbolic sword rammed into the ground. Native Americans are facing him out of dense tropical vegetation on the left. Also painted is the westward passage to the new world by three ships of Columbus' fleet: The Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
On the opposite side of the room, above a fireplace, the more early discovery of America by the vikings (which is confirmed by recent excavations) can be seen.
Depicted are two Norwegian Vikings who are proudly looking toward North America, which they called Vinland (wine country) in the area of their settlements. The Atlantic Ocean is dominated on this mural by an oversized Viking longship which is accompanied by two whales.
whereabouts of artworks: Removed in 1964 as part of the Australis conversion, since the class division of the ship was released and the public rooms of 2. class were no longer needed and converted into cabins. Shipped back to the U.S. from Greece and now preserved by a museum.
Discovery of America by the Vikings.
Discovery of America by Columbus.
"America"- mural in 3. class smoking room by Howard B. French.
Howard B. French drawed the inspiration for his mural painting in the 3. class smoking room of the new America from another America, a packet ship of the early 19th century. His oil on canvas painting shows the America as she may have appeared on March 11 1824, when she arrived in Boston at the completition of a 47- day voyage from Liverpool. In the foreground Bostonians watch with eagerness and idle curiosity as this earlier America reaches home.
whereabouts of artwork: Remained aboard after the Australis conversion in 1964 and graced the now "Dolphin Bar" named room. In later Australis years this space was rebuild to become the "Beat Club". Whether the painting remained in its position after this rebuild and even survived until 1994 is unclear.