MIDSHIP CENTURY OFFERS A COLLECTION OF FURNISHING FROM THE GREAT CRUISE SHIPS OF THE PAST

Peter Knego at Alang with SS RITA (ex WINDSOR CASTLE) in late September of 2005. Photo by Kaushal Trivedi.

Cruise News: Peter Kengo’s MIDSHIP CENTURY has received a new shipment of cruise ship furnishings after his recent visit to India.  His collection covers everything from furniture, to ship’s fittings and art work from the cruise ships of yesterday.

Click here to visit Peter’s website and see his new items that are for sale.

Union Castle’s RMS WINDSOR CASTLE in its prime on the UK to South Africa run.

Midship Century was founded in 2005 by ocean liner historian and journalist Peter Knego as a logical outlet for the container loads of materials he salvaged from a long procession of celebrated vessels scrapped on the beach of Alang, India in recent years. Many, such as Sun Line’s STELLA SOLARIS, were fitted out with important designer furniture and valuable artwork, while others, such as the former Cunard Liner IVERNIA, were unchanged relics filled with mid-1950s and early 1960s fixtures and furnishings.

Rare, Original Emanuele Luzzati Double Sided Screen From MV STELLA OCEANIS.

Their replacements, today’s mega cruise ships, offer a myriad of amenities to make the passenger forget he or she is even at sea. But unlike ocean liners, these boxy monoliths are fitted out like modern hotels with store-bought furnishings and fire resistant materials. The era of the individual ship representing the best of its nation’s artisans and craftsmen ended in the mid 1960s (although there were a handful of exceptions like the STELLA SOLARIS in the early 1970s).

Seizing the one-time-only opportunity to save these items from obscurity or destruction, Knego not only bought items for his collection, but to share with those with a similar love for ocean liners or a penchant for the sleek stylings of the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Rich, rare, tropical hardwood veneers, heavy nickel plated fixtures, a serving of “high style Italian chic” from Gio Ponti’s collaborators, and much more! Now that no less than four containers’ full have been sorted and documented, it is time to make these treasures available to the world.

PETER’S BIO:

Born in Los Angeles, CA in 1960, Peter’s interest in passenger ships started in 1973 when he was assigned to research the LUSITANIA for an American History course. In early 1974, he began visiting and photographing nearly every liner and cruise ship that came to Los Angeles, beginning with P&O’s SS ARCADIA, and continues to do so to this day.

While he was at UCLA, Peter took his first “serious” cruises, beginning in 1980 with American Hawaii’s newly-rechristened SS OCEANIC INDEPENDENCE. Every year thereafter, he made it a point to sail in an elderly passenger ship until the early 1990s, when he furthered his mission to seek out and document every “forgotten” liner left in the world.

In 1992, Peter traveled to Greece to visit the forlorn and soon to be lost former SS AMERICA. Further travels included a 14 night voyage aboard ACHILLE LAURO just a few weeks before she was destroyed by fire; trips to the Ukraine to document the former Cunard twins LEONID SOBINOV and FEDOR SHALYAPIN; an extended “tour” of the Far East to cover aging liners in Japan and China; a visit to the US Reserve Fleet in VA to document the nuclear ship SAVANNAH; a special expedition to the Philippines to see the former Italian liner MV AUGUSTUS; and back to China for the former ANCERVILLE and ORIANA.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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