Located in the quadrangular dome of the second class dining room were four chrome and copper reliefs by the acclaimed artist Hildreth Meière. They showed the highly stylized skylines of San Francisco, London, Paris and New York. On the New York panel the outbound America is to be seen against the backdrop of southern Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The San Francisco relief is dominated by the Oakland Bay Bridge, which vividly stands out with its thick copper cables from the background with the downtown of San Francisco. The now much more famous (then brand new) Golden Gate Bidge can be seen very small on the right side of the bay. The London panel depicts the Parliament with Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. Paris is represented by Notre Dame and the Ile St. Louis.
The different color depths and strong contrasts of the chromed copper was achieved by sandblasting and oxidation of various intensities.
whereabouts of the artwork: Stayed aboard the ship until the very last moment of the dining room's existance. Most probably claimed by the sea as the dining room was partially flooded after the wreckage and quickly torn open by the waves.
Reliefs located in America's second class dining room.
about the artist: Meiere Hildreth (1892 - 1961) was a very versatile architectural artist, mosaicist, and muralist. Most of her creations on public view were mosaic wall murals, stained glass windows and wall sculptures.
Her work can still be found in many churches and public buildings today, including the Rockefeller Center. Her style was distinctive and heavily influenced by Art Déco elements. In fact, she was one of the most prominent artists of the Art Déco style in the United States. A small selection of her unique commissions:
* "Red and Gold Banking Room" -Irving Trust Building, New York
* Mosaics inside Washington National Cathedral
* Radio City Music Hall- "Sun", "Drama", "Dance" Wall scultures
* Ceiling murals of Nebraska State Capitol
* "A Century of Women's Progress"- 1933 world fair in Chicago
San Francisco and London skyline.
Relief "London" (upper picture margin) aboard the half flooded American Star.
"Moods of Time" von Paul Manship
Four sculptures (morning, day, evening, night) adorned the first class lounge of America. They were made of bronze treated with gold leaf and given an antique finish. The theme of the sculptures is related to Greek mythology. These four small sculptures served as models which Manship made for his four large plaster groups which ornamented the "Lagoon of Nations" at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. (click here for external link with pictures of their World's Fair use)
about the artist: Paul Manship (1985 - 1966) was a famous American sculptor. His works were featured at two world's fairs. His best-known work today is the Prometheus Fountain in front of the Rockefeller Center in New York.
"Day" aboard America.
Hildreth Meière working on the template for the copper relief of San Francisco skyline. (Below San Francisco, the New York panel can be seen.)
Art aboard- page 5
Carved glass map of constellations by Austin Purves Jr.
This carved glass mural adorned the curved back wall of the cocktail bar in the first Class smoking room. It consisted of five carved glass panels, which were indirectly illuminated. The illumination reflected the light on the carved lines and points of the constellations making them shine like an artificial starlit sky on the black background behind. Each constellation was depicted in figurative and scientific visualization.