Art and war have long been associated together. Some of the earliest cave art depicts
scenes of battle, and most early civilizations glorified war and military heroes through
art. Artists have also brought home the horrors of war, and Picasso's 1937 classic Guernica
clearly stands out in that category, especially with its hidden dark imagry.
In the past, the United Army had relied primarily on civilian artists for artworks of men
and machines at war, so early in 1966, the Army revived the Army Combat Artist Program
(ACAP) and sent teams of volunteer soldier-artists to Vietnam to record US Army
activities. Artwork produced by both civilian and soldier artists has been added to the
Army War Art Collection as a permanent contribution to the annals of American military
|When I started this section, I thought about some pen and ink
sketches I had drawn when I returned from Vietnam, but fortunately for you I couldn't find
them. They were dark and morose, featuring gaunt soldiers almost always paused and focused
intently... listening, watching, smelling, feeling. It's hard to recapture that intensity
now... but I'm hopeful that we haven't all lost our sketches. This is your website, so
please send in your work. Thanks.
The Red Pony
by Anonymous, captured by Thurman Pike, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th
It's probably fitting that our very first work of combat art is this color sketch taken
from a Viet Cong soldier who had envisaged riding into combat astride a charging pony. He
was ready to die for his cause, and we were ready and able to help him.
Double-click on the sketch to see an enlargement. Press HERE for a full-size Adobe Acrobat PDF of the drawing
by Ray Sarlin, 1970?
I thought I'd post this here to encourage anyone who draws to submit their work. I was
given this sketch by an aunt who had found it among my mom's things after she passed away.
I had sketched it during a black mood from a photo in a 173rd yearbook. Alas, the yearbook
is now long gone.
by L. Trang, 1967
This image was scanned from a photo album cover purchased in Saigon in the Spring of 1967
by Jim Sheppard.
Just email your inputs to 1/50(M) Nam Art Gallery.
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