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Inspired by Winslow Homer
Published on August 4, 2011 by Sara Foss

We Fosses love Winslow Homer.

And so I was pleased to see that the August 2011 issue of Harper's Magazine features paintings by Steve Mumford, a Maine native and artist who, inspired by Homer, decided to embed with the 3/6 Marines in Marjah, Helmand Province, in 2010, and with the 2/3 Marines in Nawa, Helmand Province, in 2011.

In a post on the Harper's Magazine website, Mumford explains his decision to go to Afghanistan, and how Winslow Homer influnced him. He says:

"I grew up looking at Winslow Homer’s paintings and watercolors in Boston’s museums, and occasionally in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; I loved their drama and their seemingly straightforward realism. What I found moving about Homer’s work was that it wasn’t directly about the morality of the Civil War, so much as it sought to recreate the experience of the soldiers. His art rarely read as propaganda. It showed the powerful bonding among men on the front lines, as well as the terror. Homer had experienced it and drawn it.

It hit me unexpectedly that I could go to Iraq as an artist. By early 2003, it was already too late to be embedded, so I flew to Kuwait and haunted the fancier hotels until a couple of French journalists offered me a ride to Baghdad in their SUV. Recently, after many trips to Iraq, and with the country’s attention shifting to the worsening situation in Afghanistan, I joined the Marines in Helmand province to continue drawing America’s war zones."

Harper's has posted a couple of Mumford's drawings, as well as a gallery of Homer's famous Civil War studies for the magazine. Click here to check out the work.

 


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