The Noble Maritime Museum presents ‘Andrea Doria: Rescue at Sea’, a new exhibition about the greatest peacetime rescue in history


STATEN ISLAND, NY — The Noble Maritime Collection presents Andrea Doria: Rescue at Seaan exhibition on the sinking of the SS in 1956 Andrea Doria and the rescue of its passengers. The exhibition was curated by Megan Beck, Ciro Galeno, Jr. and Michael McWeeney.

The exhibition will be visible from June 16, 2022 to June 2023. Opening Thursday, June 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“This exhibition marks the 71st anniversary of the Andrea Doriaso it’s as much about the beautiful mid-century Italian design of the ship as it is about the tragic sinking and well-coordinated rescue,” said Noble Maritime Collection Executive Director Ciro Galeno, Jr.

The SS Andrea Doria was the pride of post-war Italy. A glamorous transatlantic liner, she was a “floating art gallery” and a marvel of mid-century modern design. She carried celebrities as well as Italian immigrants to new opportunities in America.

On July 25, 1956, the Swedish liner MS stockholm collided with the Andrea Doria, who was en route to New York. The rescue that followed was one of the most spectacular and well-documented in the history of the sea.

The Andrea Doria sank 11 hours after the collision and now lies on her starboard side 250 feet below the surface, about 50 miles from Nantucket.

The exhibit will feature objects and artifacts from the extensive collection of diver and researcher John Moyer, lifesaver in possession of the Andrea Doria.

“I have wanted to present this story to museum visitors for a long time, and I have always been fascinated by the Andrea Doria,” added Galeno. “My mother vividly remembers seeing the pictures of the sinking and the rescue on television when she was a little girl.”

“Where is my Nonna?” Nine-year-old survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson (née Burzio) is shown with her grandfather Pietro Burzio, left, and mother, Vivian, middle, landing in Detroit after being rescued by Ile de France . She is looking for her grandmother, Domenica Burzio. (Photo courtesy of Pierette Domenica Simpson)


In addition to many rare photographs and works of art, a lifeline (lifebuoy) will be on display. from Andrea Doriaas well as china of all passenger classes, pottery, glassware, silverware, and the ship’s brass bell, recovered by Moyer and a team of divers.

The exhibit was developed with guidance from survivor, educator, author and filmmaker Pierette Domenica Simpson, who is the guardian of Andrea Doria survivor stories. She is the author of the books Living on the Andrea Doria! : The greatest rescue at sea in history and I was shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s.

News archive footage from the Andrea Doria‘s maiden voyage, collision and the rescue of its passengers – all provided by the Sherman Grinberg Library – will be featured in the exhibit on a converted Firestone television from 1956, the year of the sinking.

The exhibit also includes underwater footage shot by Bill Campbell and Billy Deans of John Moyer and a team diving to the wreck and recovering two 1,000-pound ceramic wall panels by Italian artist Guido Gambone (1909-1969 ).

In 1993, Moyer received an Admiralty arrest in United States Federal Court and was named salvor in possession of the wreck. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez said “Moyer’s research and archaeological documentation of his efforts indicate respect for the Andrea Doria as something more than just a commercial rescue project.

Courtesy of the Noble Maritime Museum

Installation of the Andrea Doria: Rescue at Sea exhibition at the Noble Maritime Collection, second view. (Photo by Michael McWeeney)


Photographs of some of the Andrea Doria survivors are featured in the exhibit, including Simpson, who at age nine immigrated to the United States with his grandparents, Pietro and Domenica Burzio, to start a new life with his mother Vivian, who had moved to Detroit eight years earlier chasing the American dream.

Simpson wrote and produced the 2016 documentary Andrea Doria: Are the passengers saved?, directed by Luca Guardabascio from Rome. To mark the 66th anniversary of the sinking, the film will air in New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut on CUNY TV Saturday, July 23 at 11 p.m., Sunday, July 24 at 3 p.m., Monday, July 25 at 6 p.m. h. morning and noon, and Tuesday, July 26 at noon.

A DVD of the film will be available for purchase in the museum shop, along with the two Simpsons books.

For more information on Simpson’s work, visit and Andrea Doria: Are the passengers saved? The film.

For more information on Moyer’s work, visit Moyer Expeditions LLC.

For more information about the exhibition, visit

Courtesy of the Noble Maritime Museum

The flagship of the Italian line SS Andrea Doria off the coast of Italy, c. 1953; public domain


This exhibition was made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; a SHARP Humanities New York grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal American Rescue Plan Act; and by a grant from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibit do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Noble Maritime Collection, located in a former sailor’s dormitory at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building D, Staten Island, New York, is open from noon to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Admission is by donation.

For more information about the museum, call (718) 447-6490 or visit

Courtesy of the Noble Maritime Museum

The Andrea Doria near the final moments of her sinking on July 26, 1956. Photo by Harry A. Trask; public domain

Courtesy of the Noble Maritime Museum

Installation of the Andrea Doria: Rescue at Sea exhibition at the Noble Maritime Collection, first view. (Photo by Michael McWeeney)


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