War Artists

Saluting the Army Art Program

In keeping with our Patriotic Week theme, today we thought we'd bring up a little known fact about the American Military. Most people don't think of the army as being a source to empower artists when some incredible American Art has come out of it!


Casualties, Ogden Pleissner, 1944

The Army Art program 

The Army has been officially funding artists dating back to World War I as part of the Army Art Program. It all started as a need to document and record the activities of American Expeditionary Forces, so the army commissioned eight artists as Captains in the Corps of Engineers. Through paintings, these fine captains would capture the action of battles and hard grinds, as well as the downtimes and minutia of everyday life during the war. The purpose of recording these activities was to be able to bring back the experience of war to America's museums such as the Smithsonian, which at the end of World War I was the custodian of historical Army property and art. 

John Singer Sargent, often called the "leading portrait painter of his generation" was one of the comissioned artists with the American Expeditionary Forces. His painting Gassed captures the aftermath of a mustard gas attack with a line of wounded soldiers marching towards a medical station(pictured below).

Gassed by John Singer Sargent 

Jerry's Artarama loves to honor John Singer Sargent by exclusively carrying one of our favorite linen canvas rolls, the Sargent Herringbone Weave Linen Canvas Rolls. These innovative canvas rolls come in three styles-unprimed, oil-primed and glue-sized for capturing fine details and perfect for realistic paintings such as Sargent painted himself.




The army continued the Army Art Program during World War II in 1943 until the Secretary of War made a contract with the editor of Life Magazine allowing civilian artists to be treated like war correspondents and were provided with the same support already being given to newspaper and film war correspondents. 

By June 1945, the Army had started a Historical Properties Section to maintain a collection of over 2,000 pieces of art seized during the war and in 1947, the Army Art Program had over 8,000 pieces of German war art including 4 architectural drawings by Adolf Hitler. Life Magazine allowing civilian artists to be treated like war correspondents and were provided with the same support already being given to newspaper and film war correspondents. 

Today and Michael D. Fay

War art continued through the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Shield and continues today with the War on Terror. One artist from the War on Terror in particular has gained notable attention for his paintings from Iraq and Afghanistan: Michael D. Fay

Michael was a former mortar man in the Marine Corps before re-enlisting with the United States Marine Corps again as a one of three combat artists to produce fine art based on their experiences with combat and life on the battlefield. The orders of an artist in the USMC is simply to "Go to War. Do art."

Some of his artwork can be seen here:

L to R: The Two Hands, Danger Close, and Captain Ross Parrish Directing his Company Over the Top

Fay's work from the field is currently displayed and can be seen at National Museum of the Marine Corps and the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. You can see more of his art online at his blog Fire and Ice

To keep up with our patriotism, be sure to check out our 4th of July Door Buster Sale with free shipping on purchases over $99 and amazing deals on all of your favorite art supplies and materials.


Don't miss out on these great deals and be sure to check back with us Saturday with more patriotic art news! Happy 4th of July! 



America's Ten Best Art Museums

Top 10 Places in the Country to See Art

As this week celebrates America's 238th year of Independence, we at the blog squad thought that we would take some time out to celebrate all that is red, white and blue. So today, to kick things off, we at The Splatter from Jerry's Artarama voted on our favorite travel destinations and are excited to list out the premier places to see America's finest art collections and assorted pieces from across the country.


10. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California is home to many famous modern and contemporary pieces and collections. It is well known as the first museum on the west coast exclusively devoted to art completed in the 20th Century.

Highlights: Rothko No 14, several Andy Warhol pieces, Femme au Chapeau by Henri Matisse, Frieda and Diego Rivera by Frida Kahlo


9. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts located in Boston, Massachusetts is known for being one of the largest collections of art in the U.S. It contains over 450k pieces of art and has more than one million visitors every year.

Highlights: The Fog and Warning by Winslow Homer, Pieces by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh


8. The J.Paul Getty Museum


This museum located in Los Angeles, California features two separate locations including the Getty Center(Brentwood) which houses a collection of famous and notable pre-20th Century European Paintings, sculpture and 19th and 20th century photographs from America and Europe. The Getty Villa(Pacific Palisades) displays a collection of antiquities.

Highlights: Irises by Vincent Van Gogh, The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio and collections by Rembrandt, Poussin, Manet, Monet and Renoir



7. Art Institute of Chicago

Features a large collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art, located in Grant Park, Chicago Illinois. Also contains one of America's largest collections of African-American Art.

Highlights: The iconic American Gothic by Grant Wood as well as a large collection of paintings from Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cassatt and Cezanne.


6. de Young Museum


This museum of fine arts located in San Francisco, California. It contains a large collection of American Art from the 17th-21st Centuries, specializing in Californian art.

Highlights: Three Machines by Wayne Thiebaud, California Spring by Albert Bierstadt and a giant collection of international textiles and costumes


5. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Located in New York City, this museum was designed by Frank Loyd Wright and is known for a packed yearly schedule of fantastic temporary exhibits and a "pay what you wish" admission fee

Highlights: Paris Through the Window by Marc Chagall, Robert Mapplethorpe's photography collection,  and a collection of works by Vasily Kandinsky


4. The Museum of Modern Art


Another New York City museum located in Midtown Manhattan. Often called the MoMA, this museum has a vast collection of modernist art and an outdoor sculpture garden with works from Picasso and has lectures, film screenings and classes open to the public. 

Highlights: Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, Number 31 by Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol's Campbells Soup Cans


3.The National Gallery of Art


Housed in the National Mall in Washington, DC, this museum is havled into two buildings with the West Building containing a large collection of American and European Art while the East  Building's collection includes a more modern art as well as special exhibition spaces. It is the only place in America to see an original Leonardo da Vinci. 

Highlights: Portrait of Ginerva de' Benci by Leonardo da Vinci, self-portraits by Rembrandt and Van Gogh as well as pieces from Titian, Vermeer, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso


2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art


This Museum is the largest in the United States. Right on the edge of Central Park in New York City, this museum features a permanent collection of over two million pieces of art. Get ready to spend the whole day seeing giant collections of art from Europe, the middle east, Asia and Africa as well as the Costume Institute full of fashions from around the world through the centuries.

Highlights: The Great Wave of Kanagawa, an original Egyptian temple preserved from 15BC and works by Vermmer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet


1. The Smithsonian American Art Museum


You shouldn't be surprised that the largest collection of American Art is located in Washington, DC and features art from the Colonial era to contemporary times. It has a large collection of contemporary crafts and the largest collection of Folk Art and New Deal and American Impressionist paintings.

Highlights: Among the Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, Manhattan by Georgia O'Keefe and Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper


Did we miss any museums you love? Let us know which museums are your favorite as we continue a week celebrating America!


25 Perfect Reasons Why Being an Artist is the Best

 Why its more than good for your soul



Scientists recently found out that your brain might be wired to enjoy art. However, we already on the inside of the artist community know that there are so many more rewards to enjoy art and being an artist. We know the true values and benefits of creating something we love and being able to express ourselves. Here are 25 perfect reasons why being an artist is the best:


25. You're always able to express your creativity

24. Doing work that you actually believe in

23. Being your own boss and not have to answer to anyone else in what you create

22. Being able to put pencil or brush on paper anytime you want

21. Feeding your creativity

20. Seeing that what you've done has made someone happy

19. Giving other people a new perspective

18. Living the life that you want to live

17. Creating art for yourself and no one else

16. Deciding that it is time for something beautiful and surprising is about to come to life

15. You get to see how you progress as an artist

14. Living in a world where everything is an idea or possibility for new art

13. Endlessly being able to learn and grow

12. You have the potential to be famous for something you make

11. Getting to play around all day in your studio

10. Having people tell you how much they like your work

9. Experiencing the flow of creativity

8. The chance to expand your imagination

7. Being able to move people intellectually or emotionally through something you've made

6. Making money from something you've made

5. The pride and sense of accomplishment after you've finished a great painting, sketch, sculpture or installation 

4. You get to share your art with the world

3. Working with beauty anytime you want

2. Seeing your art touch someone's soul

1. Being surrounded by a community of other artists who get to share in the experience of all the great things listed above

What is your favorite reason for being an artist? Let us know in the comments below!

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