Monday, May 27, 2013

Sergeant Tom Lovell, USMC

In 1944, illustrator Tom Lovell (1909-1997) joined the U.S. Marines with the hope that he would be assigned as a combat artist. He ended up serving for two years as a sergeant and staff artist for the Leatherneck Magazine, a publication of U.S. Marines.

Among the many paintings he did were historical reconstructions, such as General Quitman's 1847 entry into Mexico City with a battalion of Marines.
 ....and a charge of soldiers on horseback...

....and the U.S. Marines in action at the Battle Belleau Wood in June 1918.

Lovell painted the landing at the Battle of Tarawa (US code name Operation Galvanic) in the Gilbert Islands, in the Pacific Theater of World War Two. The original is in the USMC Marine Corps Combat Art Collection. 

Finally, Lovell recreated in paint the moment captured by Joe Rosenthal's famous photo at Iwo Jima. 
Book: The Art of Tom Lovell: An Invitation to History
The Wikipedia article for Lovell is just a stub. Would anyone care to write it? I'll help with info.
Sources: Tom Lovell papers at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City
Jones, Byron B., "Stories of Survival: Tom Lovell" Southwest Art. May 1983, p. 66-83)


Keith Parker said...

First off, I hope everyone has a happy Memorial day, and takes time to enjoy the company of family and friends and reflect thankfully those opportunities afforded us by people that sacrificed to make, and keep the freedoms we are able to enjoy possible.

Secondly, thanks for sharing these painting James.

Am I the only one that thinks the horse rider leading the charge seems to be a tad large in comparison to his rather short, and "squished" horse?

RobNonStop said...

Back in WWII posters taught soldiers how to identify chemical weapons by smell:

elgin said...

While not polished as these works are, anyone interested in this artists work might look for a book entitled "Vietnam Reflexes and Reflections".this is ,in effect, a catalogue of works from the National Veterans Art Museum, in Chicago.

combatartist64 said...

Thanks for posting Jim. A fantastic PBS documentary was made in the late '90's called "They Drew Fire", all about the Combat Artists of WW2. These are my heroes, and I am proud to have been a Combat Artist also, but these guys endured bombs and censors! Tony Stencel

Chantal Fournier said...

And just yesterday I read that Bob Ross was a drill sergeant before painting happy little trees. I wonder what it would have looked like if he had painted on the job.

Chantal Fournier said...

And I just remembered an interview my friend Marc Holmes did with a reporter/artist who goes on location with troops to paint their mission. His name is Richard Johnson and the interview is here:

And here:

Unknown said...

Tony,I can't wait to find the PBS special!!I wasn't aware of it.You guys are my heroes .too.
Several of my favorite painters spent time as combat artists,particularly John Groth,who wrote two books about his experiences as an war artist/correspondent,STUDIO:EUROPE and STUDIO:ASIA,about wwII and the Korean war ,respectively.[HE also covered the Spanish Civil War and Viet Nam.]These are fascinating books!!!{Studio:Europe includes a pricelesss account of a day Groth spent with Picasso in his studio during the liberation of Paris!!]
John Groth was a great artist who I think is a little underappreciated these days.
Thanks for contuing to insire us James!