Monday, December 24, 2018

Architect J. André Smith and WWI Camouflage

On-site colored drawing by J. André Smith (1918)
With luck, however belated, we have just discovered an on-going exhibition about J. André Smith and the Art of Camouflage. It is currently on view at the Maitland Art Center, a museum that Smith himself established (as the Research Studio) in 1937 in Maitland FL. Unfortunately, the exhibit will only continue through January 6, 2019. For more information, see this online information page. Above is a wonderful drawing Smith made of dazzle-camouflaged ships at the port of Saint-Nazaire in France, dated July 1918.

J. André Smith (left) and Walter Jack Duncan (c1918)

Earlier, we put up a post about J[ules] André Smith, an architect and printmaker who was a major contributor to US Army camouflage in World War I, until he was reassigned as an American war artist. He has a biographical article on Wikipedia, but the photograph accompanying it is a portrait of fellow war artist Walter Jack Duncan. There is also an article about Duncan on Wikipedia, but a portrait of Smith is mistakenly shown. The corrected heads are shown above, while posted below is a print by Duncan titled "Newly Arrived Troops Debarking at Brest," dated July 22, 1918. It also shows a camouflaged ship. Public domain images courtesy NARA.

Print by Walter Jack Duncan (1918)