This Monday, November 11th, is Veteran’s Day in America. As the country honors and thanks all who have served in the United States Armed Forces, we at the museum would like to reflect on the contributions veterans have made to the arts. Several notable artists have used their artistic skills to document wars. For example, both Tom Lea and Peter Hurd worked as war correspondents for LIFE Magazine during World War II. In addition, Hurd’s military ties include being a student at New Mexico Military Institute and West Point.
Jay Burton. Typewriter for Writing the Great American War Novel: Filling the Breach in the Line, 2003. Sculpture 7 1/2 x 17 x 14 in. Gift of Jay Burton, 2006. New Mexico Museum of Art
There is also an interesting history of veterans who made art in the Southwest. Early member of the Santa Fe art colony, Carlos Vierra, was a captain in the New Mexico National Guard who fought along the Mexican border in 1916. Painters Will Shuster and D Paul Jones served in France during World War I before moving to New Mexico. Noted Pueblo photographer Lee Marmon served a tour of duty in Alaska during World War II. Another photographer (and Curator of Photography at this museum from 1970-1976), Anne Noggle, was one of 1700 women who flew for the US Army during WWII as a Woman Airforce Service Pilot (WASP). Modernist painter Cady Wells volunteered in the First Army Engineering Corps during World War II. Richard Diebenkorn served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 until 1945. Albuquerque-based painter Wilson Hurley was a pilot in the Air Force after graduating from West Point and later flew for the New Mexico National Guard. Artists Michael Naranjo, Glynn Gomez, Doug Hyde, and Edward Gonzales all served in Vietnam. These are just a few examples of the many veterans whose works have been exhibited in the museum and its outreach facilities. Currently, Edward Gonzales is one of this year’s Governor’s Awards recipients for Excellence in the Arts and his work can be seen at the Governor’s Gallery on the 4th Floor of the State Capitol.
Lucien Jonas, La Sentinelle (from the portfolio Avec la 1re Division Américaine sur le Front), 1918. Lithograph on wove paper. 15 1/2 x 12 1/8 in. Gift of A. Verner Wasson, 1965. New Mexico Museum of Art.