Arts Alive!

March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm (books, news, people, places, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , , )

Over the weekend (Friday?) I saw a news story about military artists, ie, men in Afghanistan who were official “painters” at the front. I simply cannot put my hands on that story (though I’ll keep looking… this stuff usually gets posted at the news website — and I only get local channels, so CBS, ABC, or NBC are the possible choices.)

However, looking for this story, I’ve come across some other interesting links of war-era art.

My reason for looking, or being interested in this in the first place?

I just finished writing an article talking about art — and art, of course, is half my AGM paper (see references to “A House Divided? How the ‘Sister Arts’ Define the Dashwood Sisters” on this blog). Austen scholars tend to think of drawing as a female accomplishment but maybe don’t think about the fact that before the advent of the CAMERA pencil and paper were the only way to record people, places and things that meant something to you. Maria Smith even drew her own frontispieces to letters: she certainly had the artistic ability to do it with great success.

I once came across a notice about Mr William Gosling (Mary’s father) sketching at STOWE.

A travel sketchbook was last year auctioned in a house sale (New Hall); the artist was Mary’s cousin, Alexander Davison’s daughter Dorothy. The Italy Album, containing forty drawings made c1840, sold for more than twice its estimated: £5000.

Among my favorite books are some publishing Queen Victoria’s drawings.

So this news story (on whatever channel…) really caught my attention: people, in this digital day-and-age, still picking up the pencil, still coloring with watercolor — and at the warfront too!

While still searching for that particular story (tell me if you know!), I found some of these “stories” of interest too:

* They Drew Fire: Combat Artists in WWII

* US Army Center of Military History: Army Art Program – A Brief History

* A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan [publication based on prior exhibition]

* World War I: Doughboy Center

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