The Navy’s collection of wartime art has almost skipped a generation — a problem you can help solve.
Art curators with Naval History and Heritage Command have plenty of pieces from World War II and the Korean War — everything from paintings by official Navy artists to cartoons drawn on notebook paper. Vietnam and Desert Storm are well-represented in the Navy Art Collection, as well, but there are few works from current sailors.
So, do you fill your downtime with doodles? When the ship needs a mural, does everyone in the room turn to you? Do you hope the characters you’ve drawn on the XO’s whiteboard will someday lead to a regular gig as a cartoonist for a publication of note? (It’s happened before.)
If so, take a picture of your work and send it to Gale Munro, head curator of the art collection, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll hear back if it’s a fit for the collection. The criteria are simple, Munro said in a Navy news release — that curators “can foresee a use for it in an exhibit and that it is in tolerably good condition.”
Examples: Cartoons from active-duty sailors could be displayed alongside those drawn during World War II, or paintings of modern ships in action could be used in a traveling NHHC exhibit, which stops at local museums as a way of “showing people the great things the Navy does,” Munro said.
It’s a small way to make history, and to continue a legacy of Navy art that dates back quite a few years.
See about the Navy Art Collection, and some samples from throughout history, here.