Pollock's Works in Thumbnail
Waiting Interrogation

The U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art Program

Between 1966 and 1969 the U.S. Army, Office, Chief of Military History with the logistics of the Army Crafts Program selected by competition teams of soldier artists (5 artists per team) and sent them to Vietnam. They were charged with the responsibility of recording through their art the army's operational and mission functions for inclusion in the annals of army military history. They made sketches, gathered information and impressions while traveling from unit to unit and participating in whatever the unit visited was doing. A second leg of the program sent each U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art team to Hawaii where, under less hostile conditions, they fleshed out their sketches and impressions into finished works of art.

The Army's Vietnam Combat Art Program was unique in that qualified artists were selected exclusively by competition from the U.S. Army's own ranks. Prior to this program military artists, for the most part, had been seasoned, professional and civilian.

This was a bold and innovative experiment for the army. Selected soldier artists were granted freedom to express themselves as they saw fit and were actually encouraged to use a personal style. The resulting body of work from these forty-two artists is an uncommon and compelling look at the every-day life of army soldiers at war.

Forty-two soldiers artists participated in the U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art Program and their art is permanently archived in the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Army Art Collection in Washington, D.C.

Jim Pollock, who went to Vietnam in 1967 as a member of U.S. Army Vietnam Combat Art Team IV, has a web site that includes samples of his art that is in the Center of Military History Army Art Collection. Also on this site are historical documents relating to the Vietnam Combat Art Program, news reports and an article written by the artist entitled "One Day in Vietnam, " which can be found at: http://pie.midco.net/jpollock/index.html

Jim Pollock's Vietnam Combat Art web site address is: www.artistsoftheblackhills.org/pages/memberpages/JimPollock.html

Please feel free to make links to the above sites from yours and pass the above information around to any other history or art Listserve that you think may be interested.

Jim Pollock can be reached by e-mail at jpollock@pie.midco.net

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