American Military and Wartime Art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Military and Wartime Art" Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

Insignias of Fort Ord: Art in Everyday Military Life (3/18/16)

Hell on earth: The artist termed his work "The Richard Saholt Story"; essay by Michael Bonesteel (10/12/15)

The Poignancy of Painting and Poetry in Bold, Cautious, True; essay by Sylvia Yount (7/14/12)

Westchester Women & War: Portraits (7/14/12)

A Soldiers View of Civil War Charleston (5/18/11)

A Soldier's View of Civil War Charleston, article by Pamela S. Wall (5/18/11)

So Bravely and So Well: The Life and Art of William T. Trego (4/19/11)

Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection (2/3/11)

For Us the Living": The Civil War in Paintings by Mort Kunstler (9/15/10)

Red, White, and Blue: American Sculpture for and by Veterans; article by Robin Salmon (6/17/10)

Painting World War II: The California Style Watercolor Artists; essay by Glen Knowles (6/16/10)

Painting World War II: The California Style Watercolor Artists (6/16/10)

Mourning the Losses of the Civil War; article by Elizabeth Johns (5/17/10)

The Unwritten War: A Visual Story of the Civil War Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War (9/8/09)

Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era (7/29/09)

Designing for Victory 1914-1945 (12/13/07)

Fire and Ice: Marine Corps Combat Art from Afghanistan and Iraq / Soldier (6/21/07)

Patriotism and Persuasion: Posters of World War I (5/16/05)

Picturing Change: The Impact of Ledger Drawings on Native American Art (11/24/04)

George Bellows: The Tragedies of War (8/9/03)

One Nation: Patriots and Pirates Portrayed by N.C. and James Wyeth; by Lauren Raye Smith (10/4/01)

One Nation: Patriots and Pirates Portrayed by N. C. Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth / Foreword; by David Michaelis (10/4/01)

Winslow Homer: The Civil War Years and Winslow Homer: The Gloucester Years (12/4/00)

Selections From The Air Force Art Collection - Keeping The Peace (10/16/00)

Eye of The Storm: The Civil War Drawings of Robert Knox Sneden (10/2/00)

One Nation: Patriots and Pirates Portrayed by N.C. Wyeth and James Wyeth (8/12/00)

For Love of Country (4/18/00)

From the Front: World War II Watercolors by Peter Sanfilippo (4/18/00)

Paul Revere: Artisan and Patriot (4/3/00)

Robert Capa: Photographs (4/2/00)

New Frontiers #4: elin o'Hara slavick (3/3/00)

Terrain of Freedom: American Art and the Civil War (9/20/99)

The Irvine Museum Receives Gift of Arthur Beaumont Paintings (2/25/99)

"A Splendid Little War" The Spanish-American War, 1898: The Artists' Perspective (2/25/99)

George Bellows: The War Series (1/16/99)

George Washington: American Symbol (12/4/98)

The Civil War Naval Scenes of Xanthus Smith (9/98)

Culture y Cultura: How the U.S.-Mexican War Shaped the West (5/25/98)


TFAO references:

As of 8/21/15 TFAO Digital Library contained:


From other websites:

Note: Online information apart from TFAO's Resource Library articles and essays will soon be reorganized into sub-topics including:

Military Art, Civil War

Military Art, WWI

Military Art, WWII

Military Art, Other


After Melville and Whitman: Contemporary Responses to the Civil War, an exhibit held April 9 - July 4, 2013 at Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. Includes online exhibit. Accessed August, 2015.

American Artists in Uniform, World War II Experience from Brown University. Accessed August, 2015.

Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar is a collection from the Library of Congress, which says:" Although a majority of the more than 200 photographs are portraits, the images also include views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities... When offering the collection to the Library in 1965, Adams said in a letter, "The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment...." Accessed 11/16

The Becker Collection Drawings of the American Civil War Era, from Boston College, including 14 biographies with artwork images, list of exhibitions and related resources. Accessed August, 2015.

Bold Cautious True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era, exhibited at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts June 2 - August 26, 2012. Accessed August, 2015.

Call to Duty: World War Posters and Tears of Stone, a brochure for an exhibit held July 4 2015 - October 4 2015 at the Dayton Art Institute.. Accessed April, 2015.

Cartoons of the Spanish-American War E-book from Accessed August, 2015.

Center for Civil War Photography website. Accessed August, 2015.

The Civil War and American Art, an exhibit held May 27-September 2, 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Includes 33-minute online video "Paintings on the Battlefront and Home Front," by H. Barbara Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, American Wing. Accessed February, 2015.

The Civil War and American Art, an exhibit held November 16, 2012 - April 28, 2013 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Includes online video, podcast and press coverage. Accessed April, 2015.

Civil War Art from Accessed August, 2015.

Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection, an exhibit held January 15 to April 3, 2011 at University of Richmond Museums. Accessed February, 2015.

The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues, an exhibit held at the Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy October 14, 2011 - April 15, 2012. Accessed August, 2015.

Combat Artists of World War II from PBS. Accessed August, 2015.

"The coming storm: American landscape painting and the Civil War" By Eleanor Jones Harvey, from The Magazine Antiques. Accessed August, 2015.

Dear Dearest Mother: Leslie Starobin's Wartime Still Life Montages was a 2015 exhibit at the Danforth Museum of Art, which says: "Starobin's work spans military conflict from the Civil War to today, and brings text and image together in skillful still-life montages that emphasize the significance of objects as signifiers of both narrative and memory." Viewers may view the 34-page gallery book online. Accessed 11/16

Disunion! The American Civil War 150 Years Later, an exhibit held July 16 ­ December 11, 2011 at the Mead Art Museum. Includes checklist and press release. Accessed February, 2015

Dr. Seuss Went to War: A Catalog of Political Cartoons, from University of California San Diego. Accessed August, 2015.

Emory University, Department of English post on the World War I propaganda poster "Enlist," by Fred Spear. Accessed August, 2015.

Enlist! Art Goes to War, 1914-1918 is an exhibit from the R.W. Norton Art Gallery. LiveAuctioneers posted a July 29, 2014 AP article about the exhibit and there is a Pinterest set of images. Accessed August, 2016.

Femininity in Propaganda blog page by Ariana H. posted in May, 2011 discussing wartime propaganda posters. Accessed November, 2015.

Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of War E-book from Cornell University Library. Accessed August, 2015.

STrAY: Found Poems from a Lost Time, curated by Jennifer Farrell, an exhibit held from January 25 - May 26, 2013 at The Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia. Texts include labels. Accessed August, 2015.

Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) is a 2013 exhibit at Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College. Download the 14-page exhibit catalog published by Schmucker Art Gallery, with essay by Shannon Egan, Ph.D., Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, which says: "At this sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War marked by commemoration and critical reflection, Walker's own Pictorial History pictures the past as simultaneously grotesque and tragic, drolly exaggerated and painfully accurate, a discordant union that reverberates in the present tense." Accessed 10/16.

John Rogers: American Stories, an exhibit held November 09, 2012 - February 18, 2013 at the New-York Historical Society. Includes video by curator. Accessed April, 2015.

Lima Company Memorial at Ohio Statehouse. Accessed August, 2015.

Military Aircraft Nose Art from University of Arizona and Dr. James S. Griffith. Accessed August, 2015.

Military/War Art and Artists from John Gilinsky. Accessed August, 2015.

Navy Art Collection from U.S. Navy. Accessed August, 2015.

Naval Art of Thomas Hart Benton from the Navy Art Collection. Accessed August, 2015.

National Veterans Art Museum website. Accessed August, 2015.

A Photographic History of the Civil War in 10 Volumes E-book from Accessed August, 2015.

Photography and photographers of the American Civil War from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Red Grooms: The Blue and the Grey was a 2014-15 exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum, covered by Nashville Arts Magazine in "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" by Robert Hicks. Accessed 10/16

Selected Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints from The Library of Congress. Accessed August, 2015.

Shades of Gray and Blue is a website containing elements relating to the visual arts in Civil War Tennessee including The Persistence of Memory: Commemorative Works of Art, from Vanderbilt University Libraries, Middle Tennessee State University Walker Library, and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation. Accessed August, 2015.

Steve Mumford's War Journals, 2003-2013, an exhibit held February 28-June 8, 2014 at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Includes video and gallery guide. Accessed August, 2015.

Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial, an exhibit held September 15, 2013 - January 20, 2014 at the National Gallery of Art. Includes 32:13 video, 12-page exhibit brochure and press materials. Accessed March, 2015.

"This Riveting Art From the Front Lines of World War I Has Gone Largely Unseen for Decades," by Max Kutner, 8/12/14, from Smithsonian Magazine. Accessed August, 2015.

US Army Official War Artists from The Great War Society. Accessed August, 2015.

U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art Program by Jim Pollock. Accessed August, 2015.

U.S. Naval Art of Arthur Beaumont from Arthur Beaumont Naval Art Website. Accessed August, 2015.

United States Air Force Art Collection from University of Iowa Libraries. Accessed August, 2015.

Visualizing War is a 2012 exhibit at Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College, curated by Andrew Egbert, Natalie Sherif, and Alexandra Ward. Download the 23-page exhibit catalog published by Schmucker Art Gallery, with essays by the curators, who the Foreword says: "...have designed an experience that allows us to consider why these images resonated with such power for Civil War Americans. In doing so, they have shifted the gallery experience away from a truth-seeking mission, giving us instead a platform from which to move beyond questions of whether visual culture was realistic or not. They offer us a chance to explore the emotional and intellectual connections that sustained Americans long after the shouts and cheers in rushing to arms had faded." Accessed 10/16.

War as a topic in Art & Social Issues in American Culture, a presentation of Columbus Museum of Art. Accessed August, 2015.

Wartime Security - Civil War Camera Shots from CCTV Camera Pros. Accessed August, 2015.

Your Country Calls! Posters of the First World War, an exhibit held August 2 - November 3, 2014 at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Includes gallery guide and press release. Accessed February, 2015.

Art and Democracy gallery tour [14:47] from Meridian Gallery. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Art of Democracy: A Talk and Tour with Art Hazelwood , 2008, -- a conversation with artist Art Hazelwood held at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, CA about art, politics, and the nationwide exhibition of The Art of Democracy. part 1 [10:41], part 2 [9:30], part 3 [5:07], from Meridian Gallery. Accessed August, 2015.

Art from the Battlegrounds of Iraq, February 19th, 2008, [01:19:19] says: "Panelists include five artists who have had first-hand experience of the Iraq War - embedded painter Steve Mumford; embedded photographer and filmmaker Brian Palmer; performance artist and Army Sergeant Aaron Hughes; sculptor and Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Roa; and Chief Warrant Officer-2 Michael Fay, one of two official combat artists currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. They discuss their experiences in Iraq and how the war has affected their art. This panel, moderated by Leonard Lopate of WNYC, was presented by the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in conjunction with the exhibition "Testimony to War: Art from the Battlegrounds of Iraq," on view until March 8, 2008. Accessed August, 2015.

Call to Duty: World War Posters, online video [6:55] from Dayton Fox 45 for an exhibit held July 4 2015 - October 4 2015 at the Dayton Art Institute. Accessed August, 2015.

Call to Duty: World War Posters, online video from Comcast Creative in which Jill Horner speaks with Scott Schweigert, Curator Art & Civilization, Reading Public Museum, for an exhibit held 9/13/14 - 1/4/15 at the Reading Public Museum. Accessed August, 2015.

Combat Artists in the Vietnam War 1967 US Army [02:46] 9/5/14, source unknown. Accessed August, 2015.

Hidden Treasures -- The Official Art Collection of the United States Army [6:52] 2009, from CBS Sunday Morning. U.S Army art collection from Washington DC federal collection is featured. Accessed August, 2015.

Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg: The Civil War Art of Mort Künstler, video [4:29] from Comcast/Reading PA for an exhibit held April 26 - July 28, 2013 at the Reading Public Museum. Accessed August, 2015.

Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial, an exhibit held September 15, 2013 - January 20, 2014 at the National Gallery of Art. Includes 32:13 video. Accessed March, 2015.

Testimony to War: Art from the Battlegrounds of Iraq, [21:48] relates to exhibit curated by Francis Di Tommaso, at the SVA Gallery February 4 - March 8, 2008, from School of Visual Arts Gallery. Accessed August, 2015.

The Chicago Humanities Festival presents a Terra Foundation for American Art lecture series with art history lectures online, including an illustrated audio "Art for War's Sake" November 11, 2006, by David Lubin. Accessed August, 2015.



Brown, Thomas J. The public art of Civil War commemoration : a brief history with documents. Boston, Mass. : Bedford/St. Martin's, c 2004.

Calvin, Paula E. , Deacon, Deborah A. American Women Artists in Wartime, 1776-2010, McFarland, 2011 - 214 pages. Google Books says: "For generations, men have left their homes and families to defend their country while their wives, mothers and daughters remained safely at home, outwardly unaffected. A closer examination reveals that women have always been directly impacted by war. In the last few years, they have actively participated on the front lines. This book tells the story of the women who documented the impact of war on their lives through their art. It includes works by professional artists and photographers, combat artists, ordinary women who documented their military experiences, and women who worked in a variety of types of needlework. Taken together, these images explore the female consciousness in wartime."

Fralin, Frances. The Indelible Image: Photographs of War - 1846 to the Present. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985.

Kelbaugh, Ross J. Directory of Civil War Photographers. Baltimore, MD: Historic Graphics, 1990.

Lewinski, Jorge. The Camera at War: A History of War Photography from 1848 to the Present Day. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980.

Moeller, Susan D. Shooting War : Photography and the American Experience of Combat. New York : Basic Books, c1989.

Maslowski, Peter. Armed With Cameras : The American Military Photographers Of World War II. New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1993.

Neely, Mark E. The Union Image : Popular Prints of the Civil War North. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c 2000.

Sneden, Robert Knox. Images from the Storm : 300 Civil War images by the author of Eye of the storm. Edited by Charles F. Bryan, Jr., James C. Kelly, and Nelson D. Lankford. New York : Free Press, c 2001.

Thompson, William Fletcher. The Image of War : the pictorial reporting of the American Civil War. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1994.

Witham, George F., comp. Catalogue of Civil War Photographers : A Listing of Civil War Photographers' Imprints. Portland, OR: G. F. Witham, 1988.

Zeller, Bob. The Blue and Gray in Black and White : a history of Civil War photography. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2005.

Vietnam Images : war and representation. Edited by Jeffrey Walsh and James Aulich. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1989.

Information courtesy of Google Books


Suggested music to accompany reading of texts about American Military and Wartime Art:

"Victory at Sea," by Richard Rodgers.

(clipart courtesy of Cliparet Panda)


11/2/10: TFAO wishes to thank Andrea Merkel for providing updated information for this topic.

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