Saturday, November 30, 2013

Camouflage Artist | Douglas D. Ellington

US Navy camoufleurs in model-making room (1918)
In 2011, in Ship Shape: A Dazzle Camouflage Sourcebook, we published a 1918 US government photograph of World War I ship camouflage artists working in the Design Subsection of the American Navy's marine camouflage unit.

In that photograph (reproduced above), five men are shown constructing wooden ship models, on which would be painted experimental "dazzle camouflage" designs, which in turn would then be tested in an observation theatre. Through notations in the papers of Everett L. Warner, we were able to identify the camoufleurs (from left to right) as Douglas D. Ellington, Kenneth MacIntire, Frederick C. Clayter, Richards, and D. Frank (Sully) Sullivan. We have since learned more about Ellington, MacIntire, Sullivan and Clayter, but Richards remains to identified.

Douglas D. Ellington (1886-1960) was an architect who would later become known for his innovative Art Deco public buildings. Indeed, among the historic attractions of Asheville NC (which we inevitably think of as the location of Black Mountain College) are four buildings he designed: First Baptist Church, Asheville City Hall, S&W Cafeteria, and Asheville High School. There is an extensive online biography of Ellington, posted as an article on North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary.


[Added 18Jun2014] RELEASED FROM NAVAL SERVICE, Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington NC), December 23, 1918—

Washington DC, December 22—Douglas Ellington, of Johnston County, has been released from service in the camouflage department of the navy and has returned to Pittsburgh. He is a professor in the Brezel School of Architecture. Mr. Ellington is the only living American credited with having won the Paris prize in architecture.

Additional Sources