Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lou Glanzman's Air Force Art Experience

We began this series of posts looking at Alex Ross' artwork for the Air Force Art Program - he was featured prominently in the May 1960 National Geographic article that showcased the program and in a 1955 American Artist article about the program. Louis Glanzman was also featured in both articles and I've saved his images for last because I like them so much...

... and because when I interviewed Lou's lovely wife Fran about Lou's career, she mentioned the trip he took to do these piece. Fran told me, "Harold Von Schmidt was a favourite friend of Lou's. Actually, Lou went to the Far East with Harold Von Schmidt."


"And there was another artist... a famous water colorist." (Fran was probably thinking of Mario Cooper, who also appears in Lou's sketch above)


Here's a sketch from that trip by Lou's friend, Harold Von Schmidt...

Von Schmidt06

... and one by Mario Cooper that shows what the Air Force boys rigged up so the artist could get a better view of the landscape he wanted to sketch down below when the plane flew over Hawaii - yikes!


Describing the experience, Cooper said, "The plane began to get bumpy and I grabbed an overhead support to keep from going out the door... the only fear I had was when I thought about it afterwards on solid ground!"

Aside from this mid-'50s journey for the Air Force, Fran told me, "Lou's flown all over the world for National Geographic, to do sketches and paintings of tombs and burial sites they were uncovering."


If you missed my earlier posts on Louis Glanzman (which were posted almost exactly one year ago) here are the links:

Louis Glanzman: "The real painting artist"

Louis Glanzman: "I got my art training in comics"

Louis S Glanzman: The Amazing Man

Lou Glanzman's official website


  1. Always interesting to see inside the sketchbooks of these great artists.And LG definitely caught the likeness of Von Schmidt from that difficult rear 3/4 angle.

  2. >Describing the experience, Cooper >said, "The plane began to get bumpy >and I grabbed an overhead support to >keep from going out the door... the >only fear I had was when I thought >about it afterwards on solid ground!"

    It had to be pretty bumpy! I've been near an open door like that many times (around twenty or so) and I never felt like I could get thrown out by accident. Of course we only flew when the weather was nice, since the whole point was to eventually go out the door voluntarily! (this post brings me nice memories)

    I do expect they gave him a 'chute?...