The First Class Music Studio

The Music Studio is a small room near the Observation Bar that was set aside for first class passengers with musical talent and a desire to use it and maintain it during a crossing.

Map of Area on Ship

The Music Studio in 1936 and its location on "Prom" Deck.

A grand piano was provided so that a traveling Ignace Paderewski or Cole Porter might conveniently stay in practice and/or entertain friends. Its elegant interior was one several aboard the Queen Mary custom-designed by the famous Maple & Company.

Per the "Shipbuilder":

Adjacent to the lecture room is a music studio, in which a grand piano is provided. A striking feature of the floor treatment, which has been carried out by Messrs. MacDougall, is a large inlaid central motif in sycamore representing a clef sign, with note symbols inlaid at each side. Messrs. Maple & Co., Ltd. have been responsible for the decorative treatment, in a scheme in which maple is employed with excellent effect.


History of Use

1936 - 1939
This room was used as described above in the pre-war period.

1940 - 1947 - Whole ship converted for troopship duties.

1947 - 1967 In the postwar refit, this room was converted into a smaller first class children's playroom. Elements of the decor of the pre-war playroom were added, ie. the light fixtures symbolizing the sun and moon. However the paneling and etched glass windows from the pre-war music room were retained in place.

This room retained the playroom function for the remainder of the service life of the RMS Queen Mary.

1968 - to present

Stripped of some of its postwar decorative elements this room has housed a series of small shops since the ship was opened as a tourist attraction in 1971.

In the late 1980's the Disney Corporation, then lessee, restored the paneling. The current lessee subleased it to a tobacco shop and lottery ticket outlet that installed garish mirrored shelving to the wooden wall paneling. For the past three years the room has sat vacant.

In early 1999 the paneling in the Music Studio was repaired in preparation for installing a candy store in this room. The pattern of linoleum flooring used in the Main Hall since the post World War II refit has been installed here - perhaps still covering the original parquet with clef symbol. A contemporary chandelier was suspend from the center of the alcove. By late 1999 the new candy store operation was already removed from this room.

Outside today
The Music Studio seen from the hallway in recent years. (The material covering the windows looked suspiciously like that which Disney used for bedspreads in the hotel!).

Inside today
Inside the Music Studio recently (taken through a window as the room was disused, 1998). The circular light fitting - and some marks on the wall where a clock and fittings were - are all that remain.

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The Music Room in 1999. Each lit panel has a distinctive musical motif.

Below - photos of the room taken in Sept 2000. The music room has now been converted into an art studio, proprietor Martin Driscoll (pictured top right). The chandelier was added during the room's use as a candy shop.

Potential for future restoration and re-use

This small room is a superb example of the luxurious amenities available to first class passengers in the pre-war period. Its distinguished design pedigree and surviving decorative elements, means that it is a candidate for full restoration. While only one of the etched glass windows with musicals motifs survives, the other two might be recreated. Is the parquet with the clef symbol in place?

Perhaps the great 19th century grand piano displayed on Sun Deck might be exhibited here. While not an original furnishing, the story of how it came to the Queen Mary and its beauty would certainly enhance the room. Or perhaps the piano that once graced the Verandah Grill and until recently was on display Sun deck might be used here until the Verandah Grill is fully restored.

While the artist's studio and shop is a significant improvement over the tobacco/lotto shop and candy store, we believe that this small room offers a wonderful opportunity to show visitors the full elegance of the amenities that were once available to first class passengers on the Queen Mary. We would like to see this small room restored to its prewar decor and used as exhibit area for the historic attraction.

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