whereabouts of the artwork:Stayed aboard the ship until 1994. Removed from the wreck and stored on Fuerteventura.
Über den Künstler:
Pierre Van Parys Bourdelle (1903-1966) was a sculptor and muralist. Born in France, he immigrated to the United States in 1929. He was famous for his expressive and powerful motives and his unique style.
In addition to wall reliefs in stone on building facades, he created an innovative technique of using commercial linoleum as a durable medium for indoor artworks.
* Cincinnati Union Terminal, Warteraum- african Fauna
* Centennial Building, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas- "Locomotion"
* California Zephyr's Silver Crescent train - "Birds"
* Food North Building on New York World Fair 1939- harvesting scene
* NS Savannah, Dining Room- "Nuclear Fission"
* National(presidential-)Palace, Port au Prince, Haiti- Wall murals
"Pageantry of States" by Pierre Bourdelle
These 23 lacquer murals made of carved linoleum in the first class dining room show stylized flora and fauna typical of the different climatic regions and states of the United States. The majority of these wall reliefs forms the decoration of the walls of the two-deck high central part of the dining room. The scenes shown range from the Mountain Lions of the West, the brooks of New England, the quiet bayous of the South, deep woods of the Northwest to the plains of Alaska.
Bourdelle carved the Linoleum which he previously heated with a head lamp to make it soft and pliable with cutters, chisels and knives. Then the cuts and grooves were refined and smoothed. The result is a volumetric effect with soft transitions. The reflective and glossy effects of the mural and its various color schemes were obtained by metal layers of silver, copper, gold, aluminium and paladium leaf. These leaf layers were partially rubbed in a coat of sizing applied on the linoleum with iron brushes, sponges and iron wool to produce different shades and textures. The panels then where toned to give them depth and softness. Three coats of clear lacquer were afterwards applied and the whole surface polished with a mixture of pumice and rotten stone. Everything was finally waxed and simonized.
The final panels consisted of twelve layers of paint leaf and lacquer.
The total covered area of Bourdelle's wall murals on the America was approximately 1600 square feet.
Murals aboard Alferdoss.
"Pageantry of States" aboard America.
-Picture: US Lines-
Detail of "The Mountain Lions", one of the 23 reliefs.
above: detail, black bear.
left: detail of the "Texas" mural aboard America.
-Picture: American Artist-
above and left: Pierre Bourdelle carving linoleum in his studio of one of the 23 relief murals for the America. Above you can also see some of the tools he used and the heat lamp.
-Pictures: left1: The Architectural Forum, left2 and above: American Artist-