Air Force Art Collection for 2006

C’est la Guerre and Bon Chance

Paul Yetmar, a LCDR in the Navy and friend of mine, dropped by with a gift today.

It turns out the Air Force maintains its own art collection, pertaining to aviation and flight topics. Most of them either feature an airplane of some sort or a memorable instance in military aviation history. Here’s an example of one, TOP COVER by William Marsalko. The imprssive thing about the Air Force art collection is that not all of the subjects are of American aviation, Top Cover demonstrates.

Every year, The Air Force selects a painting (or paintings) to be part of their lithograph collection. This year’s selection came as a bit of a surprise to me. Jim Dietz’s time series paintings of BON CHANCE and C’EST LA GUERRE feature the exact same scene and the same grouping of subjects. In the first painting, BON CHANCE (good luck!), a cheerful group of young RFC flyers in World War I are off for their morning patrol. The Reconnaissance officers all have their machine guns on their shoulders and the pilots display a typical cocky attitude. Take a moment to look at the painting. Whom is the young woman on the right looking at? In the second painting, C’EST LA GUERRE, what has transpired? Observe the behavior of the dogs in both paintings. What about the squadron officer, seen through the window in the first painting?

Pretty different for the Air Force, particulary at this gung ho point in history. A very commendable choice of subject, in my opinion. And here’s the great part. You can get these lithos for free! That’s right, the AF has printed them up by the pallete load and they are easy to obtain. Follow this link to the USAF Art Collection website to get more details.

I’m getting mine framed. Hanged if I know WHERE I’m going to hang these but I love ’em.