The American Battle Monuments Commission participates in the Smithsonian American Art Museum virtual talk on art


Benjamin Brands, American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) historian, took part in a virtual talk called “Double Take Virtual Art Talk: Preserving Portraits of War” Nov. 9, 2022. This conference, in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), dealt with the exploration of art, service and sacrifices through SAAM’s pieces of art.

American Art is an important component of memorializing military services. As places of commemoration, ABMC sites display a great variety of statues or pieces of arts within their grounds. This particular session examined Claggett Wilson’s watercolor paintings depicting his experiences as a combat Marine in World War I.

“ABMC's mission is really preservation, said Brands. “Preserving the sites in perpetuity honors those who are buried there. We use art in our sites and I would argue that our preservation also extends to preserving the memory of those who are buried and honored at our sites.”

You can access the whole discussion and analysis of the art piece here: Double Take Virtual Art Talk: Preserving Portraits of War - YouTube  


 Legend for the picture: Flower of Death--The Bursting of a Heavy Shell--Not as It Looks, but as It Feels and Sounds and Smells, Ca. 1919, watercolor and pencil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Alice H. Rossin, 1981.163.18

 Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum