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Arts Center Exhibit to Pay Tribute to SS United States

The Ocean City Arts Center exhibit will run through February and feature the stories of local residents who traveled aboard the ship.

The SS United States could make the trip from New York to London in three days and 10 hours.
The SS United States could make the trip from New York to London in three days and 10 hours.
Photographer Kevin Husta of Hammonton will bring his photographs of the docked SS United States passenger ship to the Ocean City Arts Center throughout February.

A "Meet the Artist" reception will be held 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

Husta is one of several photographers to be given permission to photograph the docked ship in Philadelphia.  Its fixtures have been removed and the former elegant ballrooms and staterooms have been stripped. 

The SS United States sailed during the 1950s and 1960s. Its final trans-Atlantic trip was November 1969. It was the fastest passenger ship — traveling from New York to London in about three days and 10 hours. The SS United States offered the elegance and grandeur of the Titantic with safety. It featured first and second class accommodations.

Amenities included elegant ballrooms for lavish parties, movie screenings, a swimming pool and upscale restaurants.The SS United States hosted such famous people as Marilyn Monroe, who used the ship as the backdrop for her film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Marlon Brando, and Lucy and Desi Arnaz, who filmed a segment of "The Lucy Show" aboard the ship.

"Mr. Husta captured the current condition of the SS United States in his photographs, while encouraging audiences to imagaine its past beauty and elegance," Ocean City Arts Center Executive Director Rosalyn Lifshin said.  "The Arts Center will feature stories from local families who traveled aboard the ship. It was surprising to me to find so many passengers who live in the tri-state area and were happy to share their memories."

Husta, 31, is a graduate of Richard Stockton College. He builds his wooden frames, using materials from abandoned buildings. Husta uses his work to preserve history by photographing structures that are no longer useful and are in decay.

The SS United States Conservancy is an organization that is attempting to save the ship to be used as a hotel or convention center. 

For more information, visit www.oceancityartscenter.org or call (609) 399-7628.  The Ocean City Arts Center is located in the Community Center at 1735 Simpson Avenue.  It is open 9 am to 9 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday. 

— News release from the Ocean City Arts Center
George January 17, 2014 at 07:40 AM
Time to make the decision to make this an artificial reef off Ocean City. This will further attract fishermen, divers and more especially an eco system to support marine life which we dont have now. This ship has been rotting in Philadelphia for many years and I dont see that changing so why not put it to good use?

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