Art Museums Honor our Troops

John Singer Sargent, American (Florence, Italy 1856 – 1925 London, England) Study for Flag Bearer and Soldier Holding France’s Hand, for “Coming of the Americans,” Charcoal on off-white laid paper. Widener Library, Harvard University, 1921-1922, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of John Singer Sargent

Did you know that there is a program that offers FREE admission to museums for active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day? Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America.

In Charlotte, this means that if you are active duty military you can visit 4 major museums for free all summer long! In Charlotte the Bechtler Museum of Modern ArtLevine Museum of the New SouthMint MuseumThe Charlotte Museum of History are all participants in the Blue Star Program.

Gordon W. Gahan, American (New York, New York 1945 – 1984 St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands), Untitled (soldier leaning on gear holding paper in right hand, central highlands near Dak To, Vietnam), Photograph. 1967, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Barbara Robinson

You can click here to see the whole list of NC Museums that participate. There is even a great “Parent Toolkit” with ideas for how to engage with your kids when you visit the museum!

This is a fantastic example of an NEA program that will be eliminated if the current presidential budget is accepted.  If you haven’t yet – write to your lawmaker, or visit them and tell them to #savetheNEA. For help with how to do this – please click here and here for resources from Americans for the Arts.

Robert Smullyan Sloan, American (New York, NY 1915 – 2013 Boston, MA), Negro Soldier. Egg tempera and oil on board. 1945, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Purchase through the generosity of Michael Kempner, Michael Maher, and Ann Schwarz

Nationally – there are several other notable events and exhibitions on the subject of our nation’s military history. First, in Washington, DC the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is presenting Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War from now until November 11, 2018.

Unidentified Artist, Untitled (soldiers at snowy burial),Gelatin silver print. n.d., Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Coming up later this year at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska, The American Folk Art Museum, New York, in collaboration with the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, presents War and Pieced: The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics


Harry Annas, American (1897 – 1980), Untitled (three soldiers in uniform standing on front step). Negative, gelatin silver (film), c.1940, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, American Professional Photographers Collection
All images and photographs used are from the Harvard Art Museums Image Library.

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