Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Abbott Thayer Camouflage Exhibit

New Abbott Thayer exhibit in Washington DC
Above The Army and Navy Club Library Trust Committee, with support from the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art, is sponsoring an event of unique and corresponding interest to both the fine art and the military communities.

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) was a renowned artist and naturalist, who is also widely considered to be the "Father of Camouflage." One of the country's preeminent American painters at the turn of the 20th century, Thayer was a lifelong wildlife advocate whose artistic focus never strayed from his personal fascination with the natural world. His 1909 publication, Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, is still to this day considered among the most innovative and thought-provoking treatises on animal camouflage. It is also due in large part to this writings that American, French and British camouflage units were formed during World War I for the first time in history.

Opening March 15 and continuing for six weeks, an exhibit of Thayer's paintings and drawings will showcase rarely exhibited early camouflage studies for naval vessels and military uniforms, as well as Thayer's landscape and wildlife studies from which his concepts were born.

The Army and Navy Club will mark the exhibit opening with a special reception for members and invited guests, featuring a panel discussion on Thayer's interdisciplinary influence on art, science, and the military, and the controversial aspects of military camouflage in the 21th century.

Special Guest Speakers Lee Glazer, Associate Curator of American Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Roy R. Behrens, Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar of Camouflage History, University of Northern Iowa. Martin Stevens, Evolutionary Biologist, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter. Simon Stephens, Curator of the Ship Model and Boat Collections, National Maritime Museum, London. Richard Meryman, Author of Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life, and American art scholar.

Exhibition, Evening Lecture and Roundtable Discussion Saturday, March 15, 2014 at The Army Navy Club, 901 Seventeenth Street Northwest, Washington DC. 

Reservations Required Contact Megan McCarthy, Director of Membership for reservations and information at MMcCarthy [at] ArmyNavyClub or call (202) 721-2091.

Dress Code for this event is Jacket and Tie, comparable attire for women.

The Army and Navy Club Library Trust works to display, collect and restore military artwork and books in order to enrich public understanding of the many historical treasures and artifacts that are in its possession. This event is the first in a series planned by the Library Trust Committee to fuse Art, Science and Military subjects. In lieu of an event fee, please consider a tax-deductible gift to the trust.

Exhibit on view through April 14, 2014.