Art Collection Illustrates Need for Creative Sailor Submissions

Washington, DC - With artworks ranging from paint on canvas to charcoal illustrations to comical snippets, the Navy Art Collection has it all. Or so you would think. But what they're missing from their collection is your work.

Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) art curators said, Jan. 29, they are eager to add talented Sailors' illustrations, paintings and, yes, comics to the Navy's collection.

Why the need? Because there is a lack of art from the recent past.

"There are some wars that we are better represented in art, than others," said Gale Munro, Naval History and Heritage Command Navy Art Collection head curator. "The wars that we are really strong in: World War II, which is when the combat artist program started. From the Korean War, we are better off than the other services because we had three combat artists."

Munro said the collection includes an adequate amount of art from Vietnam and Desert Shield and Storm, but has only a few pieces from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

This is where you, or a shipmate, come in. You have seen them in the passageway painting a division's logo, designing the ships deployment t-shirt or maybe sketching while in berthing or the mess decks. Let them know that NHHC's Navy Art Branch would like to see some art donated from Sailors for their collection.

"We will take submissions," Munro said. "We have gotten a few drawings from guys on ships that created a really nice artwork and thought they would be kind to us. They sent them, and they are a part of the collection now."

She advises that the creator just to let them have a look at the artwork.

"No need to send the artwork itself, they could take a digital snapshot of it and email it to us here at the Navy Art Collection," Munro said. "We will take a look at it."

If it meets their criteria, they will add it to the collection.

"The criteria are that we can foresee a use for it in an exhibit and that it is in tolerably good condition," Munro said.

She said NHHC will not take the work unless it was to be exhibited. "It's not fair to them if we take it and then not use it," she said.

Just because it isn't a painting or an ink piece of art doesn't mean that it isn't worthy. They will consider taking an illustration on a piece of notebook paper.

"If it's something really remarkable that we do not have any other images of, yes, we will take notebook paper," Munro said. "From World War II we have lots of cartoons. Guys, off on a deployment, did silly cartoons of the idiosyncrasies of shipboard life - we love stuff like that, and those tended to be drawn on notebook paper. Some modern cartoons would be great to go along with our WWII cartoons."

A portion of the Navy's art collection travels to museums around the country.

"Our best customers are state and county type museums," Munro said. "We send out exhibits showing people the great things the Navy does, and has done for them in the past."

If someone you know is regularly doodling, sketching or painting, let them know they could be a part of history. Tell them to submit their artwork to the Navy's art collection by sending an email with their contact information and a photo of their work to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and who knows? Maybe you will see their work in a gallery near you.

For more information about the Navy Art Collection, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/nhcorg6.htm.

For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navhist/.

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