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Guide to the Ben Brown World War II Drawings Collection
1943-1945
  PR 274

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Kelly McAnnaney

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 28, 2017
Description is in English.

Container List

Series I: Drawings

Scope and Contents note

Drawings are arranged by subject and location, when known. Drawings larger than 6 x 8 3/4 inches are housed separately, listed as Oversize drawings. The series contains work in graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, pen and ink, pastel and watercolor and includes portraits of soldiers, depictions of their daily lives, as well as images of the towns and countryside they passed through in North Africa and Italy. Brown drew his fellow soldiers constantly, sketching them working, traveling, eating, playing cards, drinking, fighting and sleeping. The series contains a large number of sketches aboard a transport ship, showing the cramped quarters that the soldiers endured while at sea. Brown also sketched injured soldiers being treated both in an unidentified hospital and aboard the hospital ship Arcadia. Images of soldiers in North Africa include a small painting of a patisserie in Sidi Bel Abbes. Two children peer in the bakery window while soldiers loiter out front. Brown drew several images of soldiers at play that are especially evocative. He labeled these images with titles like "Hot Dice" and "Jumpin' Jive." "Naples Bout," a small pen and ink sketch, shows a lively group of soldiers watching a boxing match.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Civilians
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Soldiers - Miscellaneous
1945, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Soldiers - Italy
1944, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Soldiers - North Africa
1944, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Soldiers - Asleep
1944, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6-7 Soldiers - Injured/In the hospital
1944, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Soldiers - Injured/In the hospital - Hospital Ship Acadia
1945
Box: 1 Folder : 9-10 Soldiers - In the field
1944, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Soldiers - Portraits
1944, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Soldiers - Recreation
1943-1944, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Soldiers - Recreation - Italy
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Soldiers - Shipboard
1943-1944
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Landscapes, Seascapes and Genre Scenes
1944-1945, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Landscapes and Genre Scenes - Italy
1944
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Landscapes - United States
1943
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Still Lifes and Studies
1943, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Still Lifes and Studies - Italy
1944, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Studies - North Africa
1943

Subseries I.A: Oversize Drawings

Scope and Contents note

Oversize drawings range from 6 x 9 inches to 8 x 10 1/2 inches in size and contain work in graphite, pen and ink, pastel, watercolor and acrylic. Included are several North African and Italian landscapes, drawings and paintings of soldiers at work and at play and a number of layouts. One particularly interesting piece, done in acrylic, shows soldiers peering in a bar window. Soldiers inside can be seen drinking and socializing. Layouts include a poem by Elma Dean paired with a sketch of two soldiers; a cautionary drawing of cigarettes and the statement "A Dead Give Away"; and several pages showing sketches and boxes blocked out for text.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 22 Soldiers - Italy
1944
Box: 3 Folder : 23 Soldiers - Recreation
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 24 Landscapes - Italy
1944
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Landscapes - North Africa
1943
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Layouts
undated

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