USS Alstede (AF-48)
Paul Gavin, Pen & watercolor, 2013
The Story of a Painting, or The Final Voyage of the USS Alstede (AF-48)
This painting of the USS Alstede (AF-48) was created for then SK2 Laurence M. Cohen, USNR, who was aboard January 1957 through December 1958. The image was created using multiple photos of that ship that were found on line. Almost all the photos were black and white and were from multiple angels and many photos had to be used because some details were visible and clear on some photos but not on the others.
Different photos from different years also had some equipment and structural differences. The most notable was the fantail. At some point a helicopter landing deck replaced the gun tubs in the rear but this painting has the guns as the depiction is circa 1957 when Larry was on Board.
The painting was to have arrived at Larry's Staten Island home June 4, 2013 and he and his bride Isabel were planning on hand carrying it to the ship's reunion in Nashville June 13. However that was not to be as somehow the label was torn off the box and the USS Alstede was again at sea going to ports unknown by any of us. On Monday June 10 it docked in Salt Lake City and overnighted to the Cohens at their hotel. Like family at sea or otherwise deployed and incommunicado, it was nerve wracking for all of us. They will never let it sail again.
Special prints of this piece are available to USS Alstede crew, family and friends. The print will be signed by the artist and inscribed as requested in the order, e.g., for a crewmember either formal (For SK2 Laurence M. Cohen, USNR, Aboard Jan 1957 - Dec 1958) or simple (For Larry Cohen).
If you have any questions you can contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.