Dad in Izmir, Turkey. A soldier and a model.
I simply just loved this piece. I really enjoy the women all standing around each other talking and listening to music. The green tones are aesthetically pleasing as well as the artist’s use of negative space.
This is a perfect example of a work on paper that has not been stored or conserved properly. The MSC hopes that by storing all of their works on paper in proper matts, their works will not turn out like this one. Although, I am happy to say that this is one of the few pieces I have ever seen in this bad condition.
Yesterday was the annual CMH family picnic, held on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Lucky for us, there was great weather and a delightful breeze to take our minds off the heat. We had kayak races (interns versus the curators ~ we won!) and lots of food! The awesome part about my internship is how supportive and kind the employees of CMH are. They invited all of our families to join the picnic and gave free tours of the installation! Of course my dad being.. My dad.. He decided to bring an old family heirloom he’s always wanted to know more about. The family story was that it was a sword from the American Revolution that has been passed down for generations. Turns out, it’s not from the American Revolution BUT it does date back to sometime around the War of 1812! Rod Gainer, our Army Artillery Guru had lots to tell my dad. Rod claims that the handle of the sword is detailed with some kind of prehistoric bone! Possibly ivory? The sword is covered with intricate details hinting at it possibly being American made but by Germans. There are remnants of the original moleskin and it is in surprisingly good condition! When Dad asked about conserving the sword, Rod suggested that we leave it be since a lot of the original bluing still remains on the blade. Needless to say, Dad and I are very excited about our hidden treasure and don’t plan on selling it anytime soon.. Even though it’s valued somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000!
Last week I had the amazing opportunity to meet The Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta! He invited all interns working in the Pentagon and for our Nations Armed Services in the DC area to a special Q&A in the Pentagon Auditorium.
briarhistory asked: Does the museum have a plan yet for how they will organize materials? e.g., will everything be organized chronologically, by battles and wars? Or will they group similar objects together to show diachronic change, e.g., all of the rifles in one exhibit from the Revolution to the wars in Aghanistan?
A great picture of my dad on the last day of his pleb year at West Point! On this day, all of the upper class men take their last shots at hazing the plebs!
A great photo of the Army’s photo studio in the MSC, taken by a fellow intern!
Work today! I love being Pablo’s assistant in the studio. I am learning so much about photography…the different techniques and processes with regard to artwork and artifacts.
briarhistory asked: Is it ever explained how these war sketches made it back to the homefront? It's hard to imagine how an active soldier was able to preserve pieces of paper in such good shape until they returned home. Did they mail them back?
This varies, depending on the artist, period, and how the program looked at the time.
In WWII, soldier-artists working under the official program typically returned their work (either through the mail or they hand-carried it) to a central location in Europe or the Pacific, depending on which was closer. Art was then reviewed by a committee and either accepted by the Army or rejected and returned to the artist. Before it even made it this far, however, it had to pass the War Department censors, which were typically most concerned with whether art portrayed details of secret technology or troop locations or movements that were still secret. The art that passed the censors and was accepted by the committee was sent to the US and directly accessioned into the collection. Because these artists were active-duty soldiers, most of them worked on paper – because it was easy to carry. While much of what we have is in remarkably good condition because the artists went to great measures to keep it safe, in some pieces you can see fold creases, stains, and other condition problems that are a direct result of being carried through a war. Some artists have written about losing their sketchbooks, art left in a tent destroyed during an attack, or having to abandon sketches in order to save themselves or others. Some art, of course, was initially produced in safer areas and thus had a safer journey to the collecting areas.
Other programs during WWII, such as the Life Magazine and Abbott Laboratories programs, used artists who were not active-duty soldiers. These artists had shorter tours in-country than the soldier-artists did, and while they generally made field sketches that they carried home, a lot of their finished work was completed later in a studio rather than on the spot.
The MSC also has a lot of sketches that were sent through the mail – often on ‘V-Mail’ mailing paper. A number of soldier-artist correspondents for Yank Magazine made their sketches on v-mail paper for easy mailing back to the Yank office. Other soldiers who were not official artists doodled or sketched on letters home, and many of these have been donated to our collection over the years as well.
briarhistory asked: How does the Norman Rockwell painting tie in with the mission of the Army's museum? i.e., why did they collect that piece?
This Rockwell piece was commissioned by the Army in the 1950s and used as a recruiting advertisements (usually billboards) for the Army Reserve with a heading that read ‘Strength in Reserve.’ This is one of those cases in which knowing the title and a bit of the painting’s history really changes its meaning!
Sketch by T. Craig
U.S. Army ‘Life Collection’
World War II
December 5, 1943 “PFC Kurt Weinberger-31-Born Hanover-U.S. August 6,1941-U.S.Army March’42
May 1933-left Germany because of Jewish Persecution and his democratic ideas and activities. To Paris, studied Sorbonne ‘34, went to Portugal taught in Oporto in British College, there started in journalism. When there wrote articles for French papers. Arrested and threatened with execution in Spain. Due to intervention consul, was sent instead to France. (he had only a German passport, and of course Germans would not help him) (Articles were on Portuguese intervention in Spanish Revolution). Returned to France as a refugee to study. While in france reporter “Die Zukumpft” in underground newspaper which was smuggled into Germany. In August ‘39 volunteered for French army. I December, assigned to 1st Foreign Regiment in Sidi Bel Ab., Algeria. In July, after fall of France, tried with group to join De Goubsts- didn’t work. Caught by Vichy Guedarmes and sent to concentration camp in Siberia supposedly to work on trans-Siberia railway (meals 10-12 dates per day). Got out of that after 4 months in October-then went to Toulouse and lived underground. Got one of Roosevelt’s 100 visas for refugees whose life was in danger. But to CasaBlanca instead because of Syrian War- there to a concentration camp in OuedZem next to Gestapo.
Then Hebrew Aid Society in New York, transportation on decrepit Portuguese ships, was arranged. Reached N.Y. In August ‘41- in U.S. taught at Bucks County school in P.A.
Federation Interventionale Des Journalistes-subsection of International Institute of Intellectual cooperation of League of Nations. 1933-39 Espec. Translator of League of Nations Documents. (speaks 10 languages)
[classification, translation, and interpretation of enemy documents and also interrogation of prisoners, 45th Division (G2)]”
This entrance exhibit was used as an introduction to the major wars the United States Infantry played a major role in. Here is an example of the titles and labels used to introduce each war. I felt that they worked perfectly, tying in the mixture of new and old museum exhibition techniques.
Here is the first glimpse at the amazing job the Infantry Museum did on the exhibit. The props and mannequins were amazingly life like as well as the sound effects. My favorite part about this exhibit was their mixture of videography with artifacts and reproductions. On the left you can see a video being projected off of the rock formation. Incredible!