Museum Of Flight Opens Exhibit Depicting World War I Aviation

Camel Driver. Courtesy Jim Dietz.
World War I aviation is brought to life in a new exhibit featuring the paintings of Seattle artist Jim Dietz. The show, Wood and Canvas: The WWI Aviation Art of Jim Dietz, developed by Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, includes 38 reproductions of Dietz’s vivid paintings of air combat, aviators and life at the front during the Great War. Each of the fine art prints on display at the Museum blend Dietz’s mastery of details and storytelling. Together they immerse the viewer into the military aviator’s world a century ago, when war first took to the skies.
The exhibition also includes aviation artifacts from the period, and the first public display of recently digitized World War I photographs and other works on paper from the Museum’s collection. Wood and Canvas: The WWI Aviation Art of Jim Dietz runs through Jan. 1, 2018.
Artist Jim Dietz
After a successful illustration career in Los Angeles and New York producing work ranging from automobile ads, movie posters, and romantic and historical/action book covers, Dietz moved to Seattle in 1978. His work gradually shifted away from commercial illustration to primarily historical aviation, automotive and military art. Today his work is internationally known and collected, and his style, with its emphasis on depth of story, is recognized by collectors of historical art.
Dietz’s list of clients includes Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Federal Express, Allison, Cessna, Flying Tigers, the Indianapolis 500, BMW, US Air Force Documentary Art Program, the National Guard and many U.S. Army organizations. Dietz has been a member of the World War I Aviation Historical Hall of Fame, an Artist Fellow of the American Society of Aviation Artists and a board member of the Automotive Fine Artists of America.
Waiting for the Tender by Jim Dietz
New World War I Images from the Museum’s Collection

The Museum is completing an 18-month project digitizing and creating an online repository of nearly 2,500 photos, 25 aircraft and engine manuals, 23 pieces of sheet music, 53 stereo cards, and 6 cubic feet of manuscripts and ephemera from the Museum’s archives that are related to the history of World War I. The project, “I thought there was nothing so glorious as war…”: Creating Online Access to the World War I Materials at The Museum of Flight, was made possible by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize and make publicly available rare and unique materials that are essentially considered “hidden” in the collections of cultural memory institutions. The exhibit, Wood and Canvas, provides a preview to the results of this program, which will become fully available online in November.


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