Art & Objects of WWII Blog

Women at War

Women At War By Robert Presnar, Education Director Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed  their freedom. That our resolve was just as great as the brave men who  stood among us and with victory our hearts were just as full and beat just as fast-that  the tears fell just as hard for those we left behind. — Anne Sosh Brehm, 1st Lieutenant, US Army Nurse Corps, World War II   First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt advocated for the creation of a female branch of the military from the outset of World War II.  She was not alone…

Adolf as an Artist

Adolf as an Artist By Kimberly Koller-Jones, Executive Director Typically when I curate an exhibition at the Hoyt, I will immerse myself in the topic by watching documentaries, videos or movies, listening to podcasts, talking to experts, and reading anything I can get my hands on to develop a good frame of reference for pulling it all together.  It was no different when it came to curating The Art and Objects of WWII.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my family will declare war if I submit them to another docu-series! As a child, young Adolf wanted nothing more than to…

The Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is  the oldest U.S. military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving. It replaced the Badge of Military Merit established by General George Washington during the American Revolution, which was a heart made of purple cloth. Army Chief of Staff Charles Pelot Summerall was the first to attempt to revive the award in 1927. However, it was General Douglass MacArthur who is credited with completing the task by assigning the Washington Commission of Fine Arts to create a new design in 1931. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of Quartermaster General, accepted…

The Art & Objects of World War II 

After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, a massive war effort was undertaken to prepare the U.S. forces for war.  Thomas Hart Benton was among the American artists assigned to produce a visual record of the mobilization efforts for the United States Navy. He substituted the common tasks of country folks that had popularized his work in the 1930s with the daily activities of the ordinary sailor.  The resulting series of original works now in the Naval Art Collection will be on display at the Hoyt Center for the Arts, January 2-March 21, 2024, within its newest exhibit,…

Dr. Joseph E. Ginsberg and the Bataan Death March

Dr. Joseph E. Ginsberg and the Bataan Death March By Robert Presnar, Education Director The Philippines were defended by a combined American and Philippine military contingency that totaled about 75,000 soldiers under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who had come out of retirement to head the post. These forces were forced to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula. There, they stubbornly held out, despite starvation and disease weakening the ranks until April 9, 1942, when General Edward King, Jr. was forced to surrender.  Among the prisoners was a young officer from New Castle, PA named Dr. Joseph E. Ginsberg. Despite…

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