Combat Art Gallery
SHOW ENDING SOON!
A World at War: The Marine Corps and U.S. Navy in World War I
Exhibition ends April 28, 2019
In commemoration of the centennial of World War I in 2018, the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) opened a joint art exhibition depicting the story of the Marines and Sailors who fought and died in "the war to end all wars" and honors their memory a century later.
The exhibition, in collaboration with the Naval Heritage and History Command, opened June 2018 and contains 92 works by 42 artists drawn from the collections of the NMMC, the Naval History and Heritage Command and the National Museum of the United States Army.
The works, based on personal experiences or from historical perspectives, were created by service members, some of America’s leading illustrators, and even some unknown artists. The pieces document the everyday activities of Marines, the grisly battlefields of Belleau Wood and Blanc Mont Ridge, the combat debut of Marine Corps aviation as well as the U.S. Navy's battles against German U-boats and the stormy waters of the North Atlantic. Artwork from the home front includes posters intended to energize Americans to donate books, plant gardens, nurse the sick and wounded, and give their overall support to the war effort on a scale not seen before. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of portraits of Marine Medal of Honor recipients by noted artist Col. Charles H. Waterhouse, USMCR (Ret.), paired with artwork that captures their heroic deeds. Finally, the exhibit showcases a small complementary selection of artifacts from the National Museum of the Marine Corps: objects brought back home by Marines that were transformed from mundane gear, such as helmets, mess kits, and artillery shells, into beautiful pieces of art.
The exhibit is on display until April 2019.
The Marine Corps Combat Art Program
“Go to war, do art.”
Brigadier General Robert Denig, 1942
The Museum’s Marine Corps Combat Art Gallery opened July 2017. The gallery features changing exhibitions of the Museum’s combat art collection or related collections on loan from others.
The Marine Corps Combat Art Program traces its origins to 1942. Its mission: Keep Americans informed about what “their Marines” are doing at home and overseas. Managed today by the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the collection has grown to include more than 9,000 works of art created by 350 artists.
Honor, courage, and commitment are the basic principles embraced by all Marines. Along with a dose of gritty realism, those principles are reflected in the combat art collection. Brigadier General Denig’s simple guidance—“Go to war, do art.”—still applies today. Talented active duty Marines, Reservists, and civilian artists document Marine Corps life on the battlefront and while training for battle, during humanitarian missions, and on the home front. The collection’s strength rests on the authentic and unvarnished focus these works have on the human condition under the most trying of circumstances.
In addition to the Combat Art Gallery, the Museum opened an art studio in 2017. Located behind the art gallery, the studio provides space for combat artists to practice their skills and to create art.
Second Saturday Events: The second Saturday of every month, visitors can view the artists in action from the second deck walkway, behind the Combat Art gallery.
Visit our Artist Studio at the Museum and see combat artists in action on the 2nd Saturday of every month!
New Exhibit Opening May 2019
War Dogs: Never above you, never below you, always beside you.
Dogs have joined Marines in battle officially since World War II and continue to enhance
warfighting techniques on today’s battlefronts. In May 2019, the Museum will open a new exhibition that explores the loyalty, bravery, and sacrifices made by the warfighters’ “best friend.”
This exhibition combines sculptures by artist James Mellick with combat art from the collections of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the United States Coast Guard, and the United States Navy, along with artifacts related to Marine Corps working dogs.
Mellick’s creations, carved from wood, are symbolic of the sacrifices made by canine and human warriors alike. Twenty-eight works of combat art by 21 artists capture military dogs at work around the globe, from the jungles of the Pacific during WWII through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unique artifacts tell stories of specific Marine Corps dogs and handlers.
The Museum thanks the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for their support of this exhibition, which will be in place through September 2019.
War Dog Exhibition Opening May 2019
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