Cover image for They drew fire : combat artists of World War II
They drew fire : combat artists of World War II
Lanker, Brian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : TV Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 180 pages ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Ed Reep -- Manuel Bromberg -- Richard Gibney -- William Draper -- Robert Greenhaigh -- Howard Brodie -- Franklin Boggs.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810 .L36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Frook and Lanker offer a tribute to the soldier artists of World War II, including Edward Reep, Howard Brodie, and Olin Dows, in a fascinating look at a lost chapter in American history and the history of art.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

On the dust jacket, Tom Lea's painting of an overtaxed World War II combat veteran with a "thousand-yard stare" looks out somewhere beyond us. The image is representative of those drawn or painted by military artists whose job it was to document, in a way cameras could not, the violence of combat as well as the tedium of life in the rear. Some went on to artistic fame as civilians, and their valuable work became part of the archive of combat art commissioned by the military. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lanker (I Dream a World) and documentary filmmaker Newnham (Unforgettable Face) follow the PBS documentary of the same name, often quoting the artists as they appeared on screen. The authors describe the armed forces' arts program and Life magazine's commissions, including one funded by Abbot Laboratories that concentrated on medical themes. Emotional extremes fuel the most vivid art; some of it is hard to take, leaving haunting images that linger for a lifetime. Recommended for art as well as military collections.DMel D. Lane, Sacramento, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lanker and documentary producer-director Newnham discuss the paintings and drawings of the works, never seen before, of about 100 enlisted men, not officers, who were combat artists in WW II. Specifically mentioned are Ed Reep, Manuel Bromberg, Richard Gibney, William Draper, Robert Greenhalgh, and Franklin Boggs. The book examines Life magazine's and Abbott Laboratories' sponsorship of the war art programs. A variety of war experiences are illustrated in vivid color and black and white: life in the trenches, behind the scenes, and on the front lines. Some of the artists, not wanting to glamorize war in any way, speak of their paintings as statements of peace. The soldiers who were subjects of the drawings believed that they were going down in history. A tradition exists for the art of conflict; artists in the past who have dealt with war include Goya (Peninsula War), Winslow Homer (Civil War), Max Beckman (WW I); and Picasso (Spanish Civil War). Of great interest to those who experienced WW II and for those seeking a more realistic interpretation of war not found through photographs. General readers; professionals; two-year technical program students. M. Kren; Kansas State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vi
Army Art Programp. 1
Ed Reepp. 9
Manuel Brombergp. 21
Essay: Chaos of Combatp. 33
Marine Corps Combat Correspondent Programp. 51
Richard Gibneyp. 57
Essay: The Artist's Eyep. 67
Essay: The Face of Warp. 77
Navy Art Programp. 89
William Draperp. 95
Essay: Diverse Visionsp. 103
Life Magazine War Artp. 115
Yank Magazine: The Army Weeklyp. 123
Robert Greenhalghp. 127
Howard Brodiep. 133
Essay: Compassionp. 139
Abbott Laboratories War Art Programp. 151
Franklin Boggsp. 159
Essay: Away from Battlep. 167
Artist Biosp. 178
Acknowledgementsp. 180