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German POW art

 
 
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:56 am
These murals were all done by a German POW at Camp Breckenridge, in Morganfield KY.
The building they are in was an NCO club during WW2 and the officers club during the Korean war.
I live about 2 miles away from the building, on the gounds of the old Camp Breckenridge.

Some of the murals have been damaged, but the vast majority of them are completely intact.
The museum thinks they know who painted them, but they arent 100% positive.

http://www.breckinridge-arts.org/murals.php
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 3,933 • Replies: 18
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:27 am
cool

0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:32 am
@mysteryman,
I like them. Painting probably kept him sane. I know you said they're not sure who painted them, but do they know what happend to the person they think might have painted them?
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:40 am
@mysteryman,
Your story rang a bell, mm. Here's another one from Northern Ontario:

http://www.thunderbaymuseum.com/krak.htm

I can only imagine that painting provided an escape from boredom and homesickness.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:04 am
@Gala,
The German soldier that they think painted the majority of them came back in 2003 for a visit.
He was captured in North Africa in 1943, so he would have come here almost immediately after capture.
The reason they arent sure who painted all of them is because one man would have had to painted almost continually since his arrival.

Either way, they are fantastic paintings, and the photo's dont do them justice.
They are much brighter in color when viewed in person.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 08:23 am
@Tai Chi,
Tai Chi wrote:

I can only imagine that painting provided an escape from boredom and homesickness.


Mostly boredom, I think.

What I know about German POW's most intensively is from my father, who's been an US-POW in March 1945 and later a French-POW until May 1948 (I've got some hundred of his letters plus a very few stories).

The situation there was ... different. (And in Russia, it was the worst, of course.)

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 09:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
kinda remind me of Thomas Kinkade stuff, Primitive and colorful.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 09:44 am
Beautiful paintings. You can tell that he was homesick for his small German
town and painting them brought him solance, I imagine.

How long was he there in KY? Does one know?
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 09:51 am
@farmerman,
I see a little bit of Thomas Hart Benton in the people.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 10:27 am
@Gala,
Benton was always given criticism of portraying a kind of "goofy energy" of the Americanpeople. Something I dont think the POW had in his quiver .
Heres a shipbuilding hunk of a Benton triptych

        http://www.wqed.org/mag/columns/sebak/2009/images/thomas_hart_benton_painting.jpg
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 10:41 am
@farmerman,
I see the primitive, but not the colorful, to me the paintings don't have much color. The POW doesn't give his pictures the romantic sweep Benton gives his paintings, nonetheless, his people have that kind of oingy-boingy thing. Oingy-boingy in a primitive way.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 11:06 am
@Gala,
Manneristic oingy boingism, thats what Benton was a master of.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 12:09 pm
@CalamityJane,
Whoever the artist was, CJ, I'll bet he was from the South, from Bavaria. Some of those scenes look so familiar that it's frustrating not to be able to identify the specific site he had in mind. One wants to say, "Oh, yeah, that's near . . ." Near where? That painting of the boat on the river is for sure the Main river. Somewhere around Zell or Veichtschochheim (Sp?).
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 03:47 pm
@Merry Andrew,
It can be anywhere, Andy - most small towns in Germany look like this. A few
paintings do look like they're along a river, in others it looks more like a lake.
Nonetheless, all of them are remarkable.
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 03:58 pm
@farmerman,
Who's the original oingy-boingy Mannerist? I'll give you a hint: it's a guy and he's from I'tly.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 05:40 pm
@Merry Andrew,
According to the museum curator, the artist did say that all of the scenes were things he saw as a child or as a young adult, before the war.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:49 pm
@mysteryman,
Did the curator indicate whether he did them all from memory? Or did he have photographs or postcards to work from?
0 Replies
 
mistral
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 08:17 am
@mysteryman,
In the French Movie "Claire's Knee" (Le genou de Claire) by Eric Rohmer, you can see a charming wallpaint by a French Soldier, as I remember right of the Napoleon era, left in a occupied Swiss house near Annecy.
0 Replies
 
aml
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2014 05:54 am
Have a painting signed P O W Cunati. Can anyone shed some light on it if you knew such a painter please. Tnx. I can be contacted at [email protected]
0 Replies
 
 

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