Second only to Lindbergh’s epic in firing the enthusiasm of the public were Admiral Byrd’s achievements at the South Pole. In this panel, the big triple-motored Ford monoplane “Floyd Bennett” is shown taking off from the ice for a flight over the Pole.
In the ice-locked harbor on the edge of the forbidding Ross Barrier lies the “City of New York”, the three-masted rigger which carried the expedition as near to the Pole as the great barrier permitted.
It is the beginning of winter, and the Aurora Australis, glowing like a prismatic fan, spreads across the horizon. (Friends of New Orleans Lakefront Airport)
The second in the series of posts about the Gonzalez murals in former Shushan Airport, Admiral Byrd’s Flight Over the South Pole, like the others, had been covered by rice paper to protect it from the 1964 remodeling project that encased the entire airport, including the murals, in steel and concrete and wooden panels. Elise Grenier, who holds a master’s degree in art history from LSU and diplomas in art restoration from Italian universities, has restored artworks in historic buildings in Louisiana and in Italy, and owns an art conservation company in Baton Rouge, and one in Florence, Italy. Of the restoration process, Grenier said
It’s like surgery. You don’t know what’s ahead. The most important phase is testing to determine materials, what they can withstand during restoration and what the issues are. When the treatment is correct and successful, it is a wonderful feeling. (John R. Kemp, 2016, Xavier Gonzalez: Restoring a Golden Age in Aviation in New Orleans, myNewOrleans.com)
According to Grenier, Gonzalez “wanted to capture the beauty and safety of flying, which was still very new to most people.”