THE SS UNITED STATES FROM DRAWING BOARD TO REALITY. This page brings you pictures in two formats. First, the initial decorator’s drawing board plans then the actual final spaces. Notice the drawings appear more expansive and the artwork is still subject to change.
FROM THE DRAFTING BOARD TO REALITY Above, the artistry of Gwen Lux has yet to be defined on the center wall. The final sculpture in the SS United States first-class dining room provided a touch of grandeur. Soaring fifteen feet over the double-height main room, the four feminine figures created a focal point that distracted the eye from the obtrusive columns required for potential gun emplacements on the decks above. Snow white linen, specially created china and silver contributed to the air of elegance in the first-class dining room. From a musitians gallery above the dining room, the ship’s orchestra serenaded diners with light music and request. The four figures of Expression of Freedom created by Gwen Lux gave the room a touch of grandeur. SS United States Conservancy First and second class theater; “You will love the theater where the best first-run films are shown. It’s as ultra-modern as a theater can be.” First-class theater, shared with Cabin class You won’t find one of these on today’s cruise ships, a room dedicated to smoking. United States Lines described the room as a place where “First class passengers will spend many relaxing hours in this restful smoking room.” This was a good place to not only smoke but also enjoy a drink and play cards. Note the fan in the upper right-hand corner. Home Page SS United States The smoker: Colors included a hint of brown overshadowed by a variety of copper, yellow, orange, red, and green. The combination gave the room a cozy, clubby atmosphere. SS United States First-class stateroom. First-class stateroom SS United States Cabin class dining; The cabin class dining salon is midnight blue… the curtains are a combination of green and red stripes. With quiet indirect lighting, brilliant sculpturing in bas-relief, gleaming china and silver, and snowy white table linen is the perfect setting for mealtime at sea.” Cabin-class dining room. The artwork changed between concept drawings and reality. In the cabin class Taurus, the bull replaced the aluminum cast spread eagle. The representation of Taurus proved a twinge too graphic for the sedate postwar code of modesty that still dominated society. The prominent male genitalia of the well-endowed aluminum bovine caught the eye of several guests … The most notably George Horne, the New York Times’ shipping news editor, took the matter of common decency all the way up to William Francis Gibbs. Overriding objections (from the artist and decorators), the oblivious bull was unceremoniously emasculated and the severed appendage delivered to the Times’ shipping newsroom affixed to a mahogany plaque.” From A Woman’s Touch: The Seagoing Interiors of Dorothy Marckwald, Gordon Ghareeb Cabin class stateroom For the swimming pool on the SS United States, designer Dorothy Marckwald departed from the ‘Roman Bath’ school of pool design found on the Cunard Queen’s with a clever simulation of a tropical beach. Sunken lights and a starlit indigo ceiling compensated for the low space over the pool. The decorative signal flags on the far wall spelled out “Come on in, the water’s fine.” on the SS United States SS United States Tourist dining L Driscoll collection S S United States Tourist dining L Driscoll collection Cabin lounge on the SS United States Tourist Cabin rendering L Driscoll collection Tourist Cabin. Cozy and tight the tourist class cabins laked bathrooms. Passengers shared commmon bathroom facilities down the hall.