In Part II of The Art of War, the imagery of actual warfare deepens. The artists experiences of WWII are even more graphic as they themselves plunge into actual combat. The source of these images are from a JUXTAPOZ article a few years back which detailed what the artists went through, as explained by author Annie Tucker:
“Imagine how different from the norm the creative process must have been for these artists, stripped of all the creature comforts that a typical studio houses and outfitted instead with sketchbooks, a few pencils, and about 60 pounds of military equipment apiece. In the midst of complete chaos — freezing cold or brutally hot weather, bullets whizzing by their heads, bombs exploding and men dying al around them — they couldn’t shake a burning commitment to let their fellow Americans in on what was really happening, without sugar-coating or glamorizing it in the form of PG-rated adaptations of events, including (as many movies would have us believe) as many pin-up girls, card games, and good laughs as actual combat. The artists wanted the civilians viewing their work to know that war is blood and guts and pain. It’s emotional heartbreak and desperation and missing your family. It’s seeing dead bodies with high school rings on their fingers and having men collapse in tears in your arms.”





Some artists, unable to ask their subject to stand still and pose, rendered such quick sketches as the following….


Untitled Sketches by Eby










The painting entitled The Price, is a stark example of that experience, one Lee Marvin witnessed on a regular basis while fighting in the jungles of the Pacific Theater of Operation.  The image, reprinted in the coffee table book, LIFE Goes to War, included the following caption: “With the Marines on Peleliu, LIFE artists Tom Lea painted frightful scenes. This Marine had just landed. ‘Something exploded,’ Lea wrote. ‘He scrambled up from the ground as if embarrassed. He looked at his left arm and stumbled back to the beach. He never fired a shot.'”



Hi Visibilty Wrap by Hirsch






On occasion, the subject had no choice but stand still for the artist, at least briefly….





















1,000 yard Stare by Lea





The damage inflicted in warfare goes beyond just the physical. The Marines called the look ‘The Gooney-Bird Stare.’ Artist Tom Lea dubbed it the 1,000 Yard Stare, and with good reason…
“Battle fatigue hollows the eyes of a Marine at Bloody Nose Ridge. Lea recalled: “Last evening he came down out of the hills. He left the States 31 months ago. He was wounded in his first campaign. He has had tropical diseases. He gouges Japs out of holes each day. Two thirds of his company has been killed, but he is still standing. So he will return to attack this morning. How much can a human being endure?'”

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Lee Marvin would be the first to say he never had a hometown, having grown up and gone to school all over the Eastern seaboard, from New York and New Jersey, to New Hampshire and Florida.  He would also admit that if he had any roots at all, it would be in the upstate region of Woodstock, New York. His parents gave him and his brother, Robert  memorable summers when they were children. After the war, following short horrific stints in both Manhattan and Chicago (Lee Marvin: Point Blank), the family settled in Woodstock where they took up residence for the rest of their lives. In fact, Lee’s mother Courtenay, father Monte, and brother Robert all lived in the Bearsville home until their deaths.
It was in Woodstock, while working as a plumber’s apprentice for Adolph Heckeroth, that Lee discovered his true calling. What he did until that time can be seen below….

chicago-1In Chicago after the war and still sporting the mustache he grew in the Pacific, Lee enjoys a night with one of the many local women he dated through the years.


For most of his life, Marvin enjoyed two past times since childhood. One was fishing, that grew to include deep sea fishing off the coasts of Mexico and Australia when he got older, to another manly pursuit….

deerhunt-1He loved to go hunting as shown above, which once resulted in a a comical run-in with his boss, Adolph Heckeroth (Lee Marvin Point Blank, p. 59)

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