Maritime historical artist William G. Muller of Cotuit was commissioned last spring to create a 3' x 5' oil painting for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
The painting shown larger below depicts American "Liberty Ships" in convoy loaded with war supplies and passing Gibraltar sailing into the Mediterranean Sea with cargo bound for Russia in May, 1944.
This painting will be displayed as part of the museum's newly built exhibition hall devoted to showcasing the efforts and sacrifices made during WW II by the U.S. Merchant Marine whose civilian officers and seamen manned the "Liberty" and other cargo ships. Many of these mariner's lives were lost along with their military service compatriots when under enemy attack.
Over 800 hours of artist Muller's time was expended in producing the artwork from preliminary research to accurately depicting all details of the ships as well as their lashed down deck cargo's including battle tanks, supply trucks and locomotives.
The new exhibition hall, scheduled to open on December 10th, was funded by LTJG Ralph Crump who had served as a Maritime Academy engineering
cadet aboard the featured "Liberty" ship John Davey seen in the painting.
The artist has had a lifelong passion for ships, especially steamships. While a youth in New York in the mid 1950's, he had the immense enjoyment, as he recalls it, of spending several summers working as quartermaster cub pilot on the Bygone Hudson Rover Day Line's large passenger side-wheel steamboat "Alexander Hamilton", the last of it's swift and graceful breed. That's Muller, age 19 on the right, at the helm of the Alexander Hamilton.
Muller, who lives in Cotuit year round, was a founding director of the American Society of Marine Artists in the 1970's and is presently a fellow emeritus of the National Society. See more of Muller's paintings here and here.