The United States Merchant Marine Academy
Kings Point LI, New York

The mural of the SS America, painted by Robert Gaston Herbert, was installed in Delano Hall in the early 1940’s during WWII. The mural covered a cast stone monument memorializing the merchant marines killed in the war effort.

The Project:

-salvage the mural

-demolish the wood structure obscuring the cast stone monument

-conserve the cast stone monument

-repurpose and install salvaged bronze plaques displaying names of fallen WWII Merchant Marines

-conserve the salvaged mural

-fabricate a stretcher, stretch and hang the mural in the campus’ Ackerman Auditorium

-repurpose the wood framing, faux wood grain and use to frame the relocated mural

The wood frame is removed, exposing the edges of the painting and the false wall construction.

The mural is first cleaned and then faced with rice paper. The 18″ sono tube is in place to remove the mural by rolling it off the wall on to the tube.

The team stands with the mural rolled on to the sono tube.

The false wall is encapsulated and ready to be demolished to reveal the cast stone monument.

The false wall supports being removed.

WWII was the only time in history the Merchant Marines fought alongside the military. This monument was covered by the SS America to raise morale amongst the cadets.
The time had come to uncover the monument and pay respect to the fallen Merchant Marines.

The mural arrives at the studio upstate New York ready for treatment to begin.

The faced mural is stretched on a strainer in the studio.

Foreground is expert at treatment of losses on wall murals, canvas murals and easle paintings alike.

The steps to take toward a loss compensation are determined by the conservator. Choices are made for the treatment from experience.

Layers of work can look seamless on this type of painting.
The final photo in this story is the work complete.

This photograph is a select area before conservation work.
Below is the work complete

Completed work of a small area of the mural

Bronze plaques from a different USMMA monument were being stored in the museum basement.

Installation of Bronze name plaques.
Foreground engineered, modified, and cleaned the plaques for installation on the Delano Hall cast stone monument.

Monument ready for the unveiling for the Merchant Marine 75th anniversary.

Ackerman Auditorium
Installation of SS America mural. 2018

Ackerman Auditorium
Installation of SS America mural. 2018

Project complete.

The success of both projects led to the class of 1979 seeking us out to produce a new mural of the SS United States. We produced it the same size as the SS America to hang opposite it in the Auditorium.