USAHEC Past Exhibits
Courage, Commitment and Fear
Opened in November 2015, this exhibit features several unique immersive experiences, such as a "spider hole" and "booby traps," which will allow visitors to experience, first-hand, the types of challenges U.S. Soldiers faced. Each Soldier's story is unique, and the exhibit showcases different areas of Vietnam, with corresponding Soldiers' stories to illustrate the experiences of the men and women who served. In-country experiences in combat and medical evacuation operations will be featured, in addition to sections relating to the experience of POWs and veterans upon returning home. The exhibit also includes the short film, "Our Journey Through War," which was produced in-house by the USAHEC team, and features the stories of those who were involved in the conflict.
The current exhibit in the General Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery is Battle Babies, and it features the story of the 99th Infantry Division, as told through the eyes and imagination of Private Robert S. "Robbie" Robinson, the artist for the Checkerboard newspaper, the official publication of the 99th Infantry Division. Robert "Robbie" Robinson was born on June 22, 1915 in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1936. He spent the next several years in New York City, before enlisting in the U.S. Army on November 21, 1942. He served in the United States and Europe with the 99th Infantry Division. In addition to his work for the Checkerboard during World War II, he also contributed drawings to Yank Magazine and Stars and Stripes. For his service in World War II, he received the Bronze Star Medal and the Croix de Guerre, and was honorably discharged in September 1946.
World War I was a pivotal clash that forever changed the world. Empires collapsed, new nations were born, and the maps of the Middle East and Africa were redrawn. Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine were created, as well as Ukraine, the Baltic nations, Poland, Hungary, and others. Today's conflicts and wars in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe are directly rooted in World War I. This war unleashed a century of conflicts that included the Second World War and the Cold War. American diplomat and historian George Kennan was right to call it the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century.
Treasures of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
The USAHEC holds personal papers, photographs, artifacts, audio-visual media, and library materials pertaining to the history of the U.S. Army since its founding in 1775. These items number in the millions, and many are tied to individual Soldiers and their units. Others stand alone as symbols of the U.S. Army's role in the history of the United States.
Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery:
An American in Paris: War, Soldier Morale, and the YMCA
The current exhibit in the General Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery features the artwork of Milton Herbert Bancroft, depicting locations in France where U.S. Soldiers fought during World War I. Bancroft's works are supplemented with Army Signal Corps photos, from the USAHEC collection, showing Soldiers in France during and after the War.
Negotiating Peace Amidst the Passage of the 13th Amendment
President Abraham Lincoln faced a dilemma as January 1865 dawned. After an initial vote failed the previous June, the House of Representatives had renewed debate on a proposed 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would abolish slavery. War-weary factions in the North and South were attempting to arrange a peace conference, but the news that peace commissioners might be en route to Washington alarmed many people in the capital. Radical Republicans demanded the Confederate armies surrender before discussing peace terms. Democrats, who had opposed Lincoln's antislavery policies, hesitated to support the 13th Amendment while a chance for a negotiated peace existed. Those Democratic votes would be necessary to achieve the necessary 2/3 vote on the amendment.
Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery: Sleepless Nights
Korean War Veteran John A. Cook's "Midnight Drawings"
Working intermittently for forty-six years, Korean War veteran John A. Cook, who served as Sergeant, Company G, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, coped with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)* through what he called his, "midnight drawings." The Korean War cost the cost the United States 33,686 lives, with over 4,000 MIAs. Mr. Cook's vivid and haunting memories came to him in the middle of the night, prompting him to draw as a means of release. The young sergeant served from mid-September 1950 to June 1951 and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received. Cook intended his drawings to serve, not only as a tribute to American veterans of all wars, but particularly to those who served in Korea.
Civil War Imagery
Understanding War Through Imagery: The Civil War in American Memory
Travel along with Abial Hall Edwards's and John Terrill Cheney's Civil War Experiences through letters written home to loved ones. Also learn about "Women in the Civil War" and "Civil War Illustrators"
Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery: Cook Pot and Palette
Brilliant reds, tempestuous blues, and camo greens gave life to Army cook Sergeant Angelo N. Gepponi's memories as he recorded them with paint and pen throughout his service during World War II. For the first time, his striking artwork will be revealed to the public more than 70 years since its creation. Cook Pot and Palette, a new exhibit of his work, will be on display in the Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery at the USAHEC, July 16, 2015 through May 23, 2016.
Comprised of 14 drawings sent as Victory Mail (V-mail) to his girlfriend back home, 18 portraits as unique as the individuals they depict, and 15 stunning watercolors painted throughout his unit's travels, this exhibit contains such variety that everyone will encounter a favorite they can relate to.
Ms. Nina Talbot interviewed veterans from various time periods (WWII through the Global War on Terror). Based on these interviews, she created paintings that capture the image of the veteran and their experiences in the military. The paintings featured at the USAHEC will be 13 veterans of the United States Army and will be displayed in the General Omar N. Bradley Memorial Art Gallery. The Army Heritage Center Foundation is sponsoring the exhibit. VETERANS will open July 17, 2014 and close April 5, 2015. Ms. Talbot and selected veterans will be on hand for the opening to share their experiences.
General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Exhibit
He was a man who came not from wealth and privilege, but from a family that instilled the values of hard work, education, piety, and the ability to rely on oneself. Born in 1893, young Omar walked to school with his father from an early age. He would learn how to provide the family with food through hunting and fishing. In 1911, he accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1915 as part of "the class the stars fell on." Missing World War I, he spent the interwar years as a student at such places as the Infantry School, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College, and teaching as an instructor at West Point and Fort Benning.
Carlisle Barracks, Then & Now
Nearly every historical era of the United States has impacted Carlisle. At its beginning in 1751, Carlisle was a place for traders and travelers to start their voyages west over the mountains. The seed of Carlisle Barracks was planted by the British in 1757 with Colonel, later Lieutenant General, John Stanwix establishing a post, which supported British operations in the French and Indian War. The next year, British Brigadier General John Forbes and his troops made a stop at Carlisle as their expedition worked west to the forks of the Ohio River.
WWI Poster Art
Within weeks of the United States entering the First World War in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson knew that national support of the American people would be essential to winning the war.
The Society of Illustrators in New York City was tasked to find a way that artists might assist in the war effort. Under the leadership of Charles Dana Gibson, its members launched what became the Division of Pictorial Publicity. It was part of the Committee on Public Information, created by President Wilson and charged with designing posters that would encourage patriotism and sacrifice on the home front. More than three hundred of America's foremost designers, illustrators, painters, and cartoonists worked for the division. They had the responsibility to illustrate for the people the demands of the Great War and to place on every wall in America the call to patriotism and service by showing the stories of courage, suffering, heroism, and, most importantly, confidence for victory.