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96-016 "The Queen Mary - Well Deserved Rest"
1996, Acrylic on Illustration Board

In 1992, dark clouds had gathered over the last surviving ocean liner. Her California upkeep was expensive, and the Walt Disney company had been unable to turn her into a money maker. Thus as the end of 1992 approached, with Disney planning to end their stint as operator of the Queen Mary, it was very possible that the end was at hand for the Queen herself. As a lifelong fan who had practically grown up on board, I was horrified at the prospect. Hoping a new operator would be found (as fortunately happened), I prepared for the worst; I decided to make one large painting that would capture the sense of the Queen Mary for the sake of my eventual children or future generations if she should be scrapped. I spent a lot of time, viewing her from different angles, at different times of day. I settled on this sunset view, with her lights ablaze and her funnels spot lit. Those who have worked aboard her will recognize the Queen's kitchens and restaurants, the employee cafeteria (The Pig & Whistle)...a multitude of windows into the beehive of steel and life that is the Queen Mary. When I look at this scene, I can faintly hear the conversations on her deck, the lap of the tides, music from the lounge...and marvelous to tell, I don't need this to be my only recollection of her after all. I can go see this in person any time I like, and often I do.

Chris Butler

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