War artist


War artist

A war artist depicts some aspect of war through art; this might be a pictorial record or it might commemorate how "war shapes lives."[1] War artists have explored a visual and sensory dimension of war which is often absent in written histories or other accounts of warfare.[2]

Contents

Definition and context

A war artist creates a visual account of war by showing its impact as men and women are shown waiting, preparing, fighting, suffering, celebrating,[3] or destroyed, as in Vasily Vereshchagin's 1871 painting, The Apotheosis of War.

The works produced by war artists illustrate and record many aspects of war, and the individual's experience of war, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural. The rôle of the artist and his work embraces the causes, course and consequences of conflict and it has an essentially educational purpose.[4]

Artists record military activities in ways that cameras and the written word can not. Their art collects and distills the nested versions of war and experiences of the men and women who endured in it.[5] The artists and their artwork also affect how subsequent generations view military conflicts. For example, Australian war artists who grew up between the two world wars were influenced by the artwork which depicted the First World War; and there was a precedent and format for them to follow.[6]

Official war artists have been appointed by governments for information or propaganda purposes and to record events on the battlefield;[7] but there are many other types of war artist. These can include combatants who are artists and choose to record their experiences, non-combatants who are witness to war, and prisoners of war who may voluntarily record the conditions or be appointed war artist by senior officers.

In New Zealand, the title of appointed "war artist" changed to "army artist" after the two world wars.[8] In the United States, the term "combat artist" has come to be used to mean the same thing[9]

Some examples and their background

Artist-correspondents for newspapers, etc.

William Simpson was an artist-correspondent who sent artwork from the front back to London during the Crimean War.[10] Alfred Waud was an American civil war pictorial newspaper. Ogata Gekkō and Tsuguharu Foujita crated woodblock prints for Japanese publications.

Artists who were not officially appointed

Ronald Searle recorded life in Japanese POW camps.[11]

Artists who created iconic works

Emmanuel Leutze's 1851 studio painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware is historically wrong in many ways and Leutze was born decades after the event his painting depicts; but this work has become one of the icons of popular culture.

American

Michael Fay is an official US Marine war artist, one of only three whose work depicts the battlefronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2007.

The American panorama created by artists whose work focuses on war began with a visual account of the American Revolutionary War. The war artist or "combat artist" captures instantaneous action and conflates earlier moments of the same scene within one compelling image. Artists are unlike the objective camera lens which records only a single instant and no more.[12]

In 1917, the American military designated "official war artists" who were sent to Europe to record the activities of the American Expeditionary Forces.[13] In World War II, the Navy Combat Art Program ensured that active duty artists developed a record of all phases of the war and all major naval operations.[12]

The official war artist continued to be supported in some, but not all military engagements. Teams of soldier-artists during the Vietnam War created pictorial accounts and interpretations for the annals of army military history.[14] Since 1992, the Army Staff Artist Program was attached to the United States Army Center of Military History as a permanent part of the Museum Division's Collections Branch.[13]

The majority of Combat artists(in the 1970s) were selected for this work by George Gray, chairman of NACAL, Navy Air Cooperation and Liaison committee. Some of their paintings will be selected for the Navy Combat Art Museum in the capital by Charles Lawrence, director. (Hickok, 1978) In January, 1978 The U.S. Navy chose a unique seascape specialist team and asked Patricia Yaps and Wayne Dean, both of Milford, Ct. to capture Search and Air Rescue(SAR)missions off of Key West, Fla. They were based at the Boca Chica Naval Airstation there. As reported by both Andree Hickok of The Sunday Post and Virginia Adams of The News-Times, "They were two of 78 combat artitis that year who donated their times to photograph, (sketch), and later paint Navy functions ranging from a regatta of tall ships, to a mock amphibious assault on the New England Coast." [15][16][17]

Selected artists

A select list of representative American artists includes:

Revolutionary War

Civil War

Spanish-American War

World War I

Gassed, 1918, by John Singer Sargent. Oil on canvas, 231 x 611.1cm (91 x 240.5in). Collection of the Imperial War Museum, London

World War II

Vietnam Era

Soldier Artist Participants in the U. S. Army Vietnam Combat Artists Program

LANDING ZONE by John O. Wehrle, CAT I, 1966, Courtesy of the National Museum of the United States Army.
  • CAT II, 15 Oct 1966 - 15 Feb 1967, Augustine G. Acuna (Monterey, CA), Alexander A. Bogdanovich (Chicago, IL), Theodore E. Drendel (Naperville, IL), David M. Lavender (Houston, TX), Gary W. Porter (El Cajon, CA), and supervisor, Carolyn M. O'Brien.
  • CAT V, 1 Nov 1967 - 15 March 1968, Warren W. Buchanan (Kansas City, MO), Philip V. Garner (Dearborn, MI), Phillip W. Jones (Greensboro, North Carolina|Greensboro, NC]]), Don R. Schol (Denton, TX), John R. Strong (Kanehoe, HI), and technical supervisor, Frank M. Thomas.
  • CAT VIII, 1 Feb - 15 June 1969, Edward J. Bowen (Carona Del Mar, CA), James R. Drake (Colorado Springs, CO), Roman Rakowsky (Cleveland, OH), Victory V. Reynolds (Idaho Falls, ID), Thomas B. Schubert (Chicago, IL), and supervisor, Fred B. Engel.

Recent conflicts

Australian

The artists whose work depicts war have encompassed all the conflicts in which Australians have been called to combat. The Australian tradition of "official war artists" started with the First World War. Artists were granted permission to accompany the Australian Imperial Force to record the activities of its soldiers. During the Second World War, the Australian War Museum, later called the Australian War Memorial, engaged artists. At the same time, the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force appointed official war artist-soldiers from within their ranks.[28] These embedded war artists have also depicted the activities of Australian forces in Korea, Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The ranks of non-soldier artists like George Gittoes continue to create artwork which becomes commentary on the chronicle of Australia's military actions in war.[29]

Selected artists

A select list of representative Australian artists includes:

Second Boer War

Australians and New Zealanders at Klerksdorp 24 March 1901 by Charles Hammond

First World War

Second World War

Recent conflicts

Austrian

  • Alfred Basel
  • Roman Zenzinger

British

British participation in foreign wars has been the subject of paintings and other works created by Britain's artists whose work portrays war. Artwork like the 1688 painting, The Fleet at Sea, by Willem van de Velde the Younger depict the Royal Navy in readiness for battle. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Art Collection includes many paintings showing battle scenes, particularly naval battles.[42] Military art and portraiture has evolved along with other aspects of war. The "official war artists" of the First World War created a unique account of that conflict; and the British War Artists Scheme (WAS) expanded the number of official artists and enlarged the scope of their activities during the Second War.[43]

Significant themes in the chronicle of twentieth century wars have been developed by non-military, non-"official," civilian artists. For example, society portraitist Arabella Dorman's paintings of wounded Iraq War veterans inspired her to spend two weeks with three regiments in different frontline areas: the Green Jackets at Basra Palace, the Queen's Own Gurkhas at Shaibah logistics base, 10 miles south-west of Basra, and the Queen's Royal Lancers in the Maysaan desert. In the field, Dorman drew quick charcoal portraits of the men she met. Returning to England, the sketches she made helped her use art to "evoke the emotions and psychological impact of war" rather than depicting the "physical horror" of war.[44]

Selected artists

A select list of representative British artists includes:

Napoleonic Wars

The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Denis Dighton, c. 1825.
The Last Stand at Isandlwana, 1879 by Charles Edwin Fripp in 1885. Collection of the National Army Museum of South Africa.

Crimean War

Boer Wars

First World War

Second World War

Recent conflicts

Belgian

First World War

  • Alfred Bastien, 1873—1955.[78]

Canadian

Canadian Forestry Corps' Gas Attack, Lievin (1918) by Canadian war artist A. Y. Jackson

Representative works by Canada's artists whose work illustrates and records war are gathered into the extensive collection of the Canadian War Museum. A few First World War paintings were exhibited in the Canadian Senate Chamber, and artists studied these works as a way of preparing to create new artworks in the conflict in Europe which expanded after 1939.[79]

"The war art commissions brought intense focus to the observation of Canada's role in international conflict .... A driving need for a strong national identity urged First and Second World War artists toward symbolism. While these vivid images are of a now distant past, they continue to communicate their messages to us, and so never lose their relevance."[80]

In the Second World War, Canada expanded its an official art program;[79] and Canadian war artists were a kind of journalist who lived the lives of soldiers.[80] The work of other "non-official," civilian artists became part of the record of this period. Canada supported "official war artists" in both the First World War and the Second World War; however, no official artists were designated during the Korean War.[81]

Among Canada's embedded artist-journalist teams was Richard Johnson, who was sent by the National Post to Afghanistan in 2007; and his drawings of Canadian troops were published and posted online as part of a serial "Kandahar Journal".[82][83]

Selected artists

A select list of representative Canadian artists includes:

First World War

Second World War

Recent conflicts

  • Edward Zuber, 1932–    .[88]

Chinese

Dutch

French

French war art poster by Henri Dangon, 1916. Lithograph by Imp. H. Chachoin, Paris.

The French government assigned a purpose to war art and the work of war artists.[89]

During the First World War, the work of artists depicting aspects of the military conflict were put on display in official war art exhibitions.[89]

In 1916, the Ministry of Beaux-Arts and the Ministry of War sponsored the Salon des Armées to show the work of the artists who had been mobilized. This one exhibition realized 60,000 francs. These proceeds supported not only needy artists at home but also the disabled.[89]

German

  • Emmanuel Leutze
  • Adolf Menzel

Franco-Prussian War

  • Georg Bleibtreu

First World War

Second World War

Recent conflicts

Japanese

Korean

  • Kim Seong-hwan, 1932-    .[101]

New Zealand

War artists have been appointed by the government in order to supplement the record of New Zealand’s military history.[102] The title of "war artist" changed to "army artist" when Ion Brown was appointed after the two world wars.[103]

Conservators at the National Art Gallery considered the collection to be of historic rather than artistic worth; and few were displayed.[104] New Zealand's National Collection of War Art encompasses the work of artists who were working on commission for the Government as "official war artists." while others created artworks for their own reasons.[105]

Selected artists

A select list of representative New Zealand artists includes:

First World War

Bellevue Ridge, 1918 by New Zealand official war artist George Edmund Butler.

Second World War

Recent conflicts

Russian

The Third of May 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, 1814, by Francisco Goya. Oil on canvas. 266 x 345cm. Collection of the Museo del Prado.

South African

Spanish

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Imperial War Museum (IWM), header phrase, "war shapes lives"
  2. ^ Australian War Memorial (AWM): Australian official war artists
  3. ^ Canadian War Museum (CWM), "Australia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War," 2005.
  4. ^ IWM, About the Imperial War Museum
  5. ^ U.S. Naval Historical Center (NHHC), "World War II Navy Art: A Vision of History,", 2001
  6. ^ Reid, John B. (1977). Australian Artists at War, Vol. 2, p. 5.
  7. ^ National Archives (UK), "'The Art of War,' Learn About the Art."
  8. ^ Gauldie, Matt. "History of the NZ Army Artist"
  9. ^ a b c Kino, Carol. "With Sketchpads and Guns, Semper Fi"; "Marine Art," New York Times. July 13, 2010.
  10. ^ Harrington, Peter. "The First True War Artist," MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Vol. 9, No. 1, Autumn 1996, pp. 100–109.
  11. ^ a b Bell, Steve. "Ronald Searle: a life in pictures,"The Guardian (London). March 9, 2010; Grove, Valerie. "Aged 90, Ronald Searle recalls the bad girls of St Trinian's,"The Times (London). February 20, 2010.
  12. ^ a b NHHC, Navy Combat Art Program
  13. ^ a b United States Army Center of Military History (CMH), Army Art Program History.
  14. ^ U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art Program
  15. ^ Oline Cogdill, Official Combat Artists; They 'Capture' the Navy, People Today, March 11, 1978
  16. ^ Andree Hickok, 2 Combat artists capture life and death on canvas, The Sunday Post Closeup F-1, July 2, 1978
  17. ^ Virginia Adams, Navy Draft Patricia YAps as combat artist, The News-Times, July 10, 1978
  18. ^ Rocco, Keith et al. (2004). The Soldier's View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco.
  19. ^ a b c d e CMH, artists, p. 1.
  20. ^ a b c CMH, artists, p. 2.
  21. ^ PBS. They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II,[http://www.pbs.org/theydrewfire/artists/reep.html Edward Reep 1st broadcast, May 2000.
  22. ^ NHHC, McClelland Barclay, Naval Art Collection.
  23. ^ a b c d Brown University Library, American war artists
  24. ^ PBS. They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II, Howard Brodie. 1st broadcast, May 2000.
  25. ^ CMH, Olin Dows
  26. ^ NHHC, William Franklin Draper, Naval Art Collection; PBS. They Drew Fire, William Draper.
  27. ^ Perricelli, Lynne Moss. "Drawing: Henry Casselli: Drawing From the Inside Out," American Artist. 7 Mar 2008.
  28. ^ Wilkins, Lola. "Interpreting the war: Australia's Second World War art." CWM, 2005.
  29. ^ a b Strauss, David Levi. "George Gittoes with David Levi Strauss," The Brooklyn Rail (New York). July 8, 2010; Order of Australia, George Gittoes, AM, excerpt of citation, "For service to art and international relations as an artist and photographer portraying the effects on the environment of war, international disasters and heavy industry".
  30. ^ AWM: Australia and the Boer War, 1899–1902; The incident for which Captain Howse was awarded the VC in Vredefort, July 1900 by William Dargie (1968, oil on paper on board, 25.5 x 35.5 cm), AWM ART29246
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j AWM, First World War, official artists
  32. ^ Gray, Anne. (1986). "McCubbin, Louis Frederick (1890 - 1952)," Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 10, pp. 243-244; excerpt, "Appointed an official war artist under the Australian Records Section scheme to the 3rd Division, he visited scenes of battles with Wallace Anderson and Charles Web Gilbert after the war to collect data for proposed dioramas.
  33. ^ a b c d e f AWM: Second World War, official artists
  34. ^ Colahan, Colin - Australian War Memorial; An article and images of Colahan's war art compiled by Garry Kinnane., Journal of the Australian War Memorial, http://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j28/j28-kinn.asp, retrieved 2011-08-31 
  35. ^ CWM, William Dobell
  36. ^ CWM, Russell Drysdale
  37. ^ Richard Eurich, The Official Website of Richard Eurich R.A., http://www.richardeurich.co.uk/frame.html, retrieved 2011-0 8-11 
  38. ^ CWM, Sydney Nolan
  39. ^ CWM, Grace Cossington Smith
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h AWM: Conflicts 1945 to today, official artists
  41. ^ Defence, Dept of. Media Release "The Creation of the Army's Official Art Collection" [1]
  42. ^ a b Ministry of Defence (MoD), Battles
  43. ^ Tolson, Roger. "A Common Cause: Britain's War Artists Scheme." CWM, 2005.
  44. ^ Harrison, David. "War artist Arabella Dorman paints Iraq," Telegraph (London). May 2, 2009.
  45. ^ National Maritime Museum (NMM), The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805 by Denis Dighton, c. 1825.
  46. ^ National Portrait Gallery(NPG), Robert Ker Porter
  47. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB), Brierly, Sir Oswald Walters (1817 - 1894)
  48. ^ Library of Congress (LOC), Simpson, William, 1823-1899
  49. ^ National Portrait Gallery, Expansion and Empire
  50. ^ Artnet, Bacon, 1868-1914
  51. ^ EasyArt: Charles Edwin Fripp; excerpt, "Fripp also held a commission in the Artists Rifles for 13 years ...."
  52. ^ British Sporting Artists Trust (BSAT), Godfrey Douglas Giles
  53. ^ WorldCat Identities: Prater, Ernest
  54. ^ Brighton and Hove Museums, Melton Prior; Lee, Sidney. (2006). Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), Second Supplement, Vol. 3, p. 136. at Google Books
  55. ^ a b c d MoD, War artists
  56. ^ IWM, "Art highlights from the First World War," Eric Kennington; also a war artist in World War II.
  57. ^ "John Hodgson Lobley, 1878-1954". BBC in partnership with The Public Catalogue Foundation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/john-hodgson-lobley/paintings/slideshow. 
  58. ^ "Witness - Highlights of First World War Art". Imperial War Museum. http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/pdf/Witness.pdf. 
  59. ^ IWM, "Art highlights from the First World War," John Nash, 1893–1977; also a war artist in World War II.
  60. ^ IWM, "Art highlights from the First World War," William Orpen; also a war artist in World War II.
  61. ^ CWM, Edward Ardizzone
  62. ^ CWM, Edward Bawden
  63. ^ CWM, Henry Carr
  64. ^ CWM, Laura Knight
  65. ^ IWM, Philip Meninsky
  66. ^ IWM, POW Thailand (Stanley Gimson) by Ashley George Old, 1944
  67. ^ RAF Museum
  68. ^ MoD, Art Collection
  69. ^ Albert Richards (1919 − 1945)
  70. ^ CWM, Ruskin Spear
  71. ^ CWM, Graham Sutherland
  72. ^ CWM, Carel Weight
  73. ^ a b c "Contemporary War Artists: Introduction". Imperial War Museum. http://collections.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.909. 
  74. ^ "Contemporary War Artists: Peter Howson: Bosnia". Imperial War Museum. http://collections.iwm.org.uk/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.912. 
  75. ^ "Contemporary War Artists: John Keane: The Gulf War". Imperial War Museum. http://collections.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.911. 
  76. ^ "Women at war: The female British artists who were written out of history". Independent. 8 April 2011. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/women-at-war-the-female-british-artists-who-were-written-out-of-history-2264670.html. 
  77. ^ "Contemporary War Artists: Linda Kitson: The Falklands War". Imperial War Museum. http://collections.iwm.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.910. 
  78. ^ CWM, Alfred Bastien
  79. ^ a b Brandon, Laura. "'Doing Justice to History:' Canada's Second World War Official Art Program." CWM, 2005.
  80. ^ a b c d e f g Art Gallery of Ontario, "Canvas of War: Masterpieces from the Canadian War Museum," October 2001-January 2002.
  81. ^ "North Korea: The Forgotten War," CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Company). July 18, 2003.
  82. ^ [http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/kandaharjournal/about.aspx
  83. ^ Johnson, Richard (2007). "The Missing Pieces". National Post (Toronto). http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/kandaharjournal/archive/2007/08/05/the-missing-pieces.aspx. 
  84. ^ Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Alan Brockman Beddoe
  85. ^ LAC, Molly Lamb Bobak
  86. ^ LAC, David Alexander Colville
  87. ^ LAC, Charles Fraser Comfort
  88. ^ The Art of War," Canadian Army Journal, Vol. 12.3. Winter 2010. pp. 102-103.
  89. ^ a b c Library of Congress (LOC), Salon des Armées, réservé aux artistes du front. Au profit des oeuvres de guerre. Jardin des Tuileries by Henri Dangon, color film slide; summary description
  90. ^ McCloskey, Barbara. (2005). Artists of World War II, p. 50.
  91. ^ McCloskey, p. 50; Yenne, William P. German War Art, 1939-1945.
  92. ^ a b WW2Talk, German Official War Artists, citing German War Art 1939-45 by William Yenne.
  93. ^ "Contemporary Conflist >> Women War Artists". Imperial War Museum London. http://london.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.24678. 
  94. ^ "Women War Artists: Focus on Frauke Eigen". Imperial War Museum channel on YouTube]]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx68n23HUg8. 
  95. ^ Diósy, Arthur. (1900). The New Far East, p. xv. at Google Books
  96. ^ Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric et al. (2005). "Migita Toshihide" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 628.
  97. ^ Nussbaum, "Ogata Gekkō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 737.
  98. ^ Nussbaum, "Fujita Tsuguharu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 200; McCloskey, p. 117.
  99. ^ Okamoto, Shumpei. (1983). Impressions of the Front: Woodcuts of the Sino Japanese War, 1894-95, pp. 21, 27.
  100. ^ Complutense University of Madrid, Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla. Exposición "Flores de Edo: samuráis, artistas y geishas" 4 November 2004 - 10 January 2005.
  101. ^ Salmon, Andrew. "A Cartoonist at War: 'Gobau's' Korea, 1950," The Asia-Pacific Journal, July 13, 2009; "A teenage cartoonist’s diary of horrors," JoongAng Ilbo. July 10, 1010.
  102. ^ Archives New Zealand (Archives NZ), War Art.
  103. ^ a b c d New Zealand Army (NZ Army), NZ Army Artist, Matt Gauldie.
  104. ^ Archives NZ, What is War Art.
  105. ^ Archives NZ, War Art, Artist biographies
  106. ^ Archives NZ, George Edmund Butler, retrieved 2011-05-03
  107. ^ Archives NZ, Russell Clark
  108. ^ Archives NZ, James Boswell
  109. ^ Archives NZ, John McIndoe
  110. ^ Archives NZ, "Peter McIntyre's war art online
  111. ^ http://www.ionbrown.com/profile.php
  112. ^ [http://www.army.mil.nz/culture-and-history/nz-army-culture/army-artist/default.htm
  113. ^ Fisher, David. "Feature: Capturing the Moment," New Zealand Listener (June 28-July 4, 2008) Vol. 214, No. 3555.

References

Further reading

Australia
  • Reid, John B. (1977). Australian Artists at War: Compiled from the Australian War Memorial Collection. Volume 1. 1885-1925; Vol. 2 1940-1970. South Melbourne, Victoria: Sun Books. 10-ISBN 0725102543/13-ISBN 9780725102548; OCLC 4035199
Canada
Germany
New Zealand
South Africa
  • Carter, Albert Charles Robinson. (1900). The Work of War Artists in South Africa. London: "The Art Journal" Office. OCLC 25938498
United Kingdom
United States

External links


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