The Conservancy's Hampton Roads Chapter organized a wonderful gathering on April 12, 2019. Attendees enjoyed a pop-up display of some of the unique artifacts from the Conservancy's curatorial collection, and Conservancy executive director Susan Gibbs and Keith Harper, Vice President of the Design Group at Gibbs & Cox, gave updates on the Conservancy's redevelopment and museum planning progress.
From left to right: Joe Muchulsky, Alex Keisch, Keith Harper, Elizabeth Fletcher, Bill Fox, Mary Fox.
A highlight was when the Gibbs & Cox conference room went dark and the Conservancy's famous Charles Tissot panel was illuminated. This stunning panel from the ship's private first class dining room was acquired by the Conservancy from a private collector thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Mario Alvarez-Garcillan, Charles Anderson, Frank Slate Brooks, Bob Forbes, Susan Gibbs, Mark Perry and Carl Wesch, who spearheaded the effort.
The aluminum and crystal panel, designed by Charles Tissot for the SS United States, looked stunning when illuminated. The panel was acquired by the Conservancy thanks to generous donors.
The SS United States's ties to Hampton Roads run deep, as the ship was built in the Newport News shipyard. At the gathering, Conservancy members — young and old, newcomers and old-timers — shared memories of the ship and expressed their hopes for her future. As longstanding Conservancy Advisory Council member and author Elizabeth Fletcher said at the event, "I'm very pleased to see so many young faces here. That tells me our ship is going to survive!
The SS United States remains a soaring example of our ability to join arm-in-arm to advance common goals. It took many hands to build her, and it will take all of us, working together, to give her the brilliant second act she so deserves.
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