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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Paintings From the Abbott Collection

 

Howard Baer

Born in a little mining town below Pittsburgh in 1907, Baer received an art education at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. He was a resident of New York since 1929, except for long trips into Southern France and Mexico. He achieved widespread attention for drawing, illustrations and cartoons in The New Yorker, Esquire and other magazines. He spent several months in 1941 in the interior mountain village of Chapala, Mexico, where he found his first opportunity since graduating from art school to devote his time to easel painting. The series of paintings and large mural of the town which resulted from this trip made up a noteworthy exhibition in the Associated American Artists Galleries in New York.


Victory Sparks
Howard Baer #11
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
26 3/4h" x 23 1/4w"
88-159-AB

 

A WAVE machinist bends busily over a grinding wheel, sparks flying from the tool which she is sharpening. WAVES have won a respected place for themselves as mechanics in Navy machine and repair shops.

 

WAVE on a Wing
Howard Baer #2
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
24 1/4h" x 30 1/4w"
88-159-S

 
That the needle may be applied to the war effort is demonstrated by the work of this WAVE as she plies a needle and thread in repairs to an aileron in a seaplane hangar. WAVES familiarity with the sewing machine and kindred feminine skills has many definite advantages in the Navy. Note through the window the view of a Martin Mariner being beached.

 

A Woman's Task
Howard Baer #5
Oil on Canvas, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
32h" x 28 1/4w"
88-159-V

 

If she's a Navy WAVE, then woman's task may be anything that a man's task may be, and it's a pretty good bet that she will handle it efficiently. Here, three WAVES turn to with machinist's mates to put the engine of an amphibian in tip-top running condition.

 

Patched to Fly Another Day
Howard Baer #8
Watercolor, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
24 1/2h" x 30 1/4w"
88-159-Y

 

In the Navy, it's everybody together. Here, it's the WAVE and sailor together to patch bullet holes in the wing tip pontoon of a naval flying boat in from patrol duty.

 

Readying for the Line
Howard Baer #7
Oil on Canvas, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
24 1/2h" x 40 1/2w"
88-159-X

Sleeves rolled to the elbow, WAVES take a hand in preparing an SNJ advanced trainer for flight. WAVES universally have proven adept at arduous, exact tasks requiring a sure touch and infinite patience.

 

Women at Work
Howard Baer #3
Gouache, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
26h" x 23w"
88-159-T

 

In coveralls with grease on their hands, WAVE machinists may be seen on the working platform of a seaplane ramp. Working side by side with their male contemporaries, they lend a capable hand on engine check and problems of maintenance.

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Note: for the complete collection of the Abbott Laboratories Aviation Paintings click here.

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21 April 2006