Titanic, Apollo 13 and the New York Firefighters Burn Center

In 1 on December 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I love my job because I get involved in the coolest things and meet the greatest people.  Squeezed between fine art projects last week was a dynamite interview with New Jersey’s own Indiana Jones.

A serious scientist, Dr. Charles Pellegrino has been involved in A-list projects. (Most recently,  he served as James Cameron’s scientific consultant for Avatar. ) Pellegrino is one of 6 people to actually ever go inside of Titanic-albeit, he says, accidentally. This Sunday, 12/13, at I.M. Chait, Dr. Pellegrino is auctioning off a few of his favorite Titanic expedition things.

Titanic Scientific Model

Titanic Downblast Test Article

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the NY  Firefighters Burn Center.

For Titanic fans, this is a remarkable sale.

Should you ever think that the old ship doesn’t draw crowds – you should check out the Titanic Exhibition at the  Discovery  Times Square Exposition . It is as real-life an experience as could be imagined.  (I visited it one sweltering day last summer and have to admit that putting my hand on the tip of the  iceberg  that Running Subway – the event’s producers – recreated for the show was a chilling experience.)

There are Titanic homages everywhere, including Branson, MO, where a  permanent two-story museum attraction shaped like the ship welcomes tourists.

But I digress. If you remember the best seller, “A Night To Remember,” by Walter Lloyd, you’ll be amazed that his book actually was used a reference by expedition scientists. Called the world’s rarest copy of “A Night to Remember,” the copy in the auction is a star. It…

  • Made the first voyage with Robert Ballard
  • Bears an inscription by Lloyd that references the Ballard voyage
  • Sailed with the French and Russian expeditions
  • Dr. Pellegrino used it and inscirbed it
  • Submersible crews took it to depths of the sea where it met up with the sunken hull.  They all inscribed it too
  • Malvina Dean, Titanic’s last survivor, signed it as well
Illustrated copy of "A Night to Remember."

Illustrated edition of "A Night To Remember," extensively inscribed.

The book that went to Titanic is heavily inscribed.

The I.M. Chait sale even contains scientific samples, such as the fossilized hull sample that fell away from the region of the first major crack inflicted by the iceberg.

And giving an ironic twist to American Express’ slogan “Never Leave Home Without It” is an actual Am Ex card carried by Pellegrino on that voyage.  It’s part of the contents of his wallet – the same wallet he carried into the embers of Ground Zero when called upon to do forensic archeology there.

Dr. Pellegrino was never a stay-in-the-lab scientist.  As a young man, he studied the design and construction of the Apollo Lunar Modules.  His book, co-authored with Joshua Stoff , “Chariots for Apollo: Untold Story behind the Race to the Moon,” was referenced by Tom Hanks in “From Earth to the Moon.”

If you want to indulge your inner astronaut, a large leg segment of a Lunar Module is also in the auction.

Remarkably,  Pellegrino and Stoff, saved the historical Apollo mission artifacts appearing in the auction from being tossed into a landfill.  Collectors can now rescue them again. This Sunday at I.M. Chait. The auction is being held in Beverly Hills and will be on-line.

All I can say is, the art of marketing the fine arts takes us to some far out places.  From the towers of fine art to the depths of the ocean. What’s more, it’s all good copy.  At PR To the Trade, art – all of it – is much more than just a job.  It’s an experience.


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