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USS Mohawk’s underwater art gallery lifted from Sanibel waters

By Staff | Sep 12, 2013

Andreas Franke Mohawk Art. PHOTO PROVIDED.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, the 165-foot World War II warship USS Mohawk CGC now a living reef thriving with exotic marine life, as well as an underwater art gallery shared its underwater artwork.

Celebrated photographer, Andreas Franke of Austria, led a team 28 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island to lift the previously installed images that created a gallery within the ship’s inner spaces.

Each image measured roughly 2.5 by 3.5 feet and is encased in steel-framed Plexiglas. During the past three months at sea, the photos evolved with an accumulation of marine life, which now provides a seaworthy patina and life of their own.

For this project, Franke exhaustively researched the history of the Mohawk, which survived 14 attacks against German U-boats and rescued 300 torpedoed ship survivors between 1942 and 1945. One of her most famous deeds was being the last ship to radio Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that the weather was clearing for the D-Day invasion. Based on his research, he envisioned the life of sailors aboard the Mohawk their daily lives and dreams of home and superimposed images of models in period clothing onto original photography.

The artwork will be on exhibit at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers Oct. 4-28.