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Memories of World War II – Photographs

from the Associated Press Archives

On exhibit May 1 to June 17, 2018
This exhibit will consist of approximately 50 black and white photographs from the Associated Press Archives, including selections of the most iconic WW II images taken between 1934 and 1945.

Among the photos are: the German Army marching into Paris under the Champs-Elysees; Londoners in the underground train stations; Hitler at Berchesgaden; the bombing of Pearl Harbor; FDR, Churchill and Stalin at their Tehran conference; the D-Day invasion; Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Martha Raye entertaining American troops; the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima; MacArthur’s return to the Philippines; the liberation of German concentration camps; the surrender of the Japanese on the USS Missouri; the sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square; and much, much more.

Almost two hundred reporters and photographers fanned out around the globe to cover WWII for the Associated Press, the world’s largest news service. Five reporters lost their lives. Seven others won Pulitzer Prizes, including Joe Rosenthal who took one of the most famous photos of all time as the American flag was raised on Mount Suribachi.

The Wright Museum will be the only New England venue for this exhibition. Be sure to join us for this rare opportunity to view WW II through the eyes of many of the best photographers of the era.

This exhibit made possible through a generous extended loan from the Associated Press Archives

Private Charles J. Miller:

WWII Paintings from the South Pacific

On exhibit May 1 to June 17, 2018

During World War II, local Nashua, New Hampshire, artist and soldier Charles J. Miller created over 600 paintings and sketches of everyday life G.I.s experienced in the South Pacific Theater. After the war, Miller packed his paintings away and they remained out of sight for over seven decades. This exhibit will feature 50 works from the Miller Collection.

Bucking his parents’ opposition to his becoming an artist, Miller studied artistic techniques on the sly by taking out books from the library and sneaking into the attic to study them. He quit school after the sixth grade to help support his family by working in a Nashua cotton mill. Later, he enlisted in the Army, serving for ten years, between 1925 and 1935.

In 1942 Miller was drafted into the Army and sent to the Pacific Theater to fight. While he was there, he created over 600 paintings and drawings. Despite the impressive number of paintings he created, Miller never considered himself an artist – “just a guy with a hobby.” He always drew a distinction between himself and “real” artists. And he called his paintings descriptive, saying, “You see what I saw.” Miller never sold a single painting. Instead, he gave them away.

Michael Culver, the Wright Museum’s director and an artist in his own right, calls Miller’s paintings “powerful works of art – full of wonderful color and skilled draftsmanship with dramatic action and keen observation. And they are significant historical documents with Charlie’s insightful, direct, and sometimes humorous perspective of events that helped shape our nation and the world.”

All Miller works are on loan from Nancy and Bob Dennis, and Jamie and Joni Clemons..

The Forgotten War: Korea 1950

Photographs by Max Desfor

On exhibit June 24 to August 12, 2018

Who remembers the Korean War, which raged from 1950 to 1953?

That war was sandwiched in between World War II and the Vietnam War. The war was vicious, taking its toll of Americans, North and South Koreans, and Chinese. The toll of civilian wounded and dead was high.

The Wright Museum remembers that war with 36 incredible photographs taken in 1950 by Associated Press photographer Max Desfor. Desfor captured the humanity and inhumanity of the long-forgotten Korean War in his photos. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Desfor went where the action was, capturing photos of American and South Korean soldiers and Korean civilians that burn into your brain. Such as his Pulitzer-prize winning image of a host of Korean refugees “crawling through and into and above and onto the broken-down bridge, it was like ants crawling through the girders.” Or a dead snow-covered civilian shot by the North Koreans with his bound hands reaching out of the snow. Or a soldier comforting a Korean girl. Or a soldier helping his wounded comrade.

The Wright Museum is dedicated to educating future generations about American history by presenting moving exhibits. The Forgotten War continues this commitment.

The exhibit was created and produced by Cyma Rubin, of Business of Entertainment. Rubin brought us last year’s The American Soldier exhibit.

This exhibit is made possible by the generous support of Two International Group.

Manufacturing Victory, The Arsenal of Democracy

On exhibit August 20 to October 31, 2018

During WWII, a sense of civic duty and responsibility united the nation and fueled America’s war effort like nothing before or since. People stepped forward to fulfill the jobs demanded of them, and they excelled beyond all expectations. Civilians on the Home Front who worked to assemble America’s “Arsenal of Democracy” were essential to securing an Allied victory, and their stories serve as a reminder of what patriotism truly means. This extraordinary exhibit tells that story and so much more. “Manufacturing Victory” was created by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

This exhibit made possible by the generous support from Pratt & Whitney and The Weirs Times.