cinemafan2 (cinemafan2) wrote,

A remarkable skill set...

Yesterday I received an email from a old friend, Rob Jacobs.  Rob is a master craftsman with an incredible range of skills in the applied arts.  Rob has an interest in the R.M.S. Queen Mary currently located in Long Beach, California.  He has reproduced a number of missing works of art and artifacts from this great ship.  Most recently he reproduced a missing bas relief with clock that once adorned the second class overflow lounge on A deck, aft.  It was the work of artist Rebel Stanton. 

  The artist, Rebel Stanton, and his model.


Mr. Jacobs wrote "...the piece is a 1/3rd scale reproduction of the bas relief mural panel and clock from the Queen Mary's tourist class lounge on A deck. Like the original, the figure is hand craved in hardwood (rock maple), with a relief sculpt in plaster, on either side of an illuminated clock dial. The finish is very unusual, being sprayed nickel powder, catalyzed and mixed with graphite (what a mess). This process was used to try and match the panels original tone and give the back ground a cloudy overcast look as it appeared in archive photos. The project took 4 weeks to complete and was one  I have wanted to do for many years, though I wouldn't  be keen to work with this type of finish again..."


This effort brings to my mind a question as to the current location of the original work of art by Mr. Rebel Stanton.  An inventory I saw indicates that this bas relief was still on the ship when it arrived in Long Beach in 1967.  Yet it is nowhere to be seen today.  Was it destroyed in a fire that allegedly occurred in that room during the conversion of the ship to a seaside attraction?  Or was it sold, given away or stolen during those early years?

In any case, Mr. Jacobs clearly posseses the artistic and craft skills to reproduce this item full-sized for the ship.   And it might be placed back in close to its original location if that room is ever restored.  What a wonderful opportunity to consider.

Here are photos of the exact reproduction of the Queen Mary deck chairs Rob created a while ago.

Only the darker tone of the English oak differentiates the original deckchair from its reproduction.


Ernesto Chacun, Sr. stands by the reproduction of the clock from the Drawing Room that he and his wife Martha commissioned Jacobs to reproduce.  Rob found rare Napoleon marble to match that used in the firebox of the mantle for the base of the clock as it was on the original.  This incredible attention to detail was what made the Queen Mary so special to her many passengers.  Much of this design detail has unfortunately been swept away by her Long Beach stewards.   

Recently Mr. Jacobs wrote:

I have always felt that a reproduction program would be a great idea that should be looked into. It certainly has been talked about around the ship for years but no one since 1993 has ever pursued it. I think the ship could really benefit in many ways from having it's own reproduction program, if the right people got behind it.

As you know Art Deco is very popular, I found literally, dozens of outlets on the Internet, but obviously none that were selling Queen Mary reproduction artifacts. Having an exclusive outlet for QM merchandise on board, could generate a significant amount of revenue and produce benefits directly and indirectly for the ship. This could include launching a catalog or web site for advertising, which in turn would generate more exposure and positive PR for the ship. This could create an entirely new market place for the ship with all the outlets and links available. This would also be something that would be supported by Ocean Liner enthusiasts and Art Deco collectors Internationally. I'm sure this would receive interest from the local Art Deco Society, which could also provide connections, benefits, and other opportunities for advertising during the Queen Mary's annual Art Deco Convention.
As you are well aware, there are a number of reproduction programs through out the country that are extremely successful, such as Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. I've heard they do an unbelievable amount of business, with orders backed up for as much as a year, while some items are being made.
What I would suggest is not on the grand scale as Colonial Williamsburg but rather a much smaller program for certain items from the ship which could be expanded into a whole line of items as interest grows. I think perhaps a few select items that are rather small and inexpensive, such as, waste paper baskets and stateroom clocks might be considered a good place to start.

Rob Jacobs, February 13, 2010

Tags: bill cwiklo, queen mary, rebel stanton, rob jacobs

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