Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dazzle Camouflage at Rockwell Center

Joyce K. Shiller's article on dazzle ship camouflage on the Rockwell Center website

At the website for the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, Curator Joyce K. Schiller has posted a wonderful article on World War I dazzle ship camouflage, called The Dazzling Ideas of Science. Included as visual examples are two magazine covers (Popular Science Monthly and Everybody's Magazine) and a US Government poster from that era, each featuring dazzle-painted ships. The identities of only two of the artists are known, Leon Alaric Shafer (1866-1940) and Rockwell Kent (1882-1971). Kent's cover painting for Popular Science Monthly is especially amazing, and is of additional interest because he was a student of Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921), who was among the first to claim that visual art and camouflage were derived from the same principles of vision. While Kent was Thayer's student, he contributed a painting of a copperhead snake, which was used as an illustration in Thayer's now-famous  book, Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909, 1918). The book's author of record was Thayer's artist-naturalist son, Gerald Handerson Thayer. more>>>