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02-001 "R.M.S. Queen Mary - Coronation March"
2001, Acrylic on Illustration Board

In the spring of 1936, the British ocean liner Queen Mary made her first voyage, arriving in New York harbor on June 1st. A tumultuous welcome awaited her; tugboats, fireboats, ferry boats, countless pleasure craft, newsreel airplanes, even the Goodyear blimp. Crowds gathered on rooftops and docksides of the great city to watch the newest and possibly fastest passenger ship in the world make her American debut. My painting of this event was specially commissioned by the RMS Foundation, the present operators of the Queen, to be issued as an art print to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the maiden voyage. I was greatly honored to be selected for this work, and I tried hard to capture the immense scale and surprising grace of the Mary as she glided up the Hudson amid her royal escort.

History buffs may note that the tugboats, although representative of the type present that day, are somewhat modified; this is quite intentional. The tugs bear the names of some of those who have given much to the preservation of the Mary, including my late friend William Winberg who served as the ship's historian a few years back. You may also spot the "Robin Jacobs" under the Mary's bow - Rob is an ace model builder and Queen Mary expert who (among other things) replicated the ship's lost builder's plaque. The Mary is seen here on the march to collect her crown as a new queen of the ocean - but it is through the hard work of her foot soldiers that she remains upon that throne today. This image is presently available aboard the Queen Mary, and can also be custom ordered through this web site.

Chris Butler

Copyright 1994-2003 by Chris Butler
More of Chris Butler's art can be viewed at Novagraphics Space Art.