Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

War Artist George Mathews Harding

After Harvey Dunn, my favorite American war artist is George Mathews Harding.  According to the Smithsonian, he was born in Philadelphia and followed in his sister's footsteps at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, then studied with the distinguished illustrator-teacher Howard Pyle. In 1903 he began a successful career as an illustrator-author, which included international travel. After becoming a war artist, Harding was particularly intrigued by the new technologies of war. His war pictures are full of guns, airplanes, motorcycles, trucks, and tanks. He returned to American in February 1919 and before the end of the year published a lavish portfolio of his war art, The American Expeditionary Forces in Action. During World War II, at age 60, he was once again commissioned as an army captain and created war art in the South Pacific. He was the only AEF artist to serve in both wars.

Here are three of my favorites followed by an link to his online World War I album.

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Tanks Attacking Early 26 September 1918 Between Avocourt and Montfaucon

Rounding up Boche Prisoners

Artillery Firing Near Verdun

See the full album here: