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World War II Navy Art: A Vision of History

Edward Millman (1907-1964)

Lieutenant, USNR

A native of Chicago, Millman attended the Art Institute of Chicago and later became chief illustrator for the Chicago Evening American. His interest in the frescoes of Diego Rivera led him to further his art education in Mexico. Commissioned by the Navy in 1943, Lieutenant Millman saw duty as a combat artist in the South Pacific Theater. He was awarded a post-service Guggenheim Fellowship for his paintings, which have been exhibited in leading American museums and art galleries.

Millman taught extensively in the United States at the University of Indiana, Cornell University, the Albright Art School of the University of Buffalo among others, and was artist-in-residence for one year at the Art Institute of Chicago. At the time of his death in 1964, Mr. Millman was Professor of Art at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a renowned abstract artist.

Seaplane Berth -- Leyte Gulf, Philippines
Edward Millman #07
Watercolor, 1944
19 1/2h" x 25 1/4w"


The ships toss in the rain swept sea as they hover closer to a tiny island. Their crews are aboard the seaplane tender anchored nearby and after some sleep and chow they will be ready for another patrol.


Convoy Enroute to Mapia Islands, Dutch New Guinea
Edward Millman #44
Watercolor, November 1944
30 1/2h" x 38 1/4w"


The convoy plows through a peaceful moonlit sea, it is H-hour minus five and the men aboard ship have written their hurried letters home, oiled and polished their weapons. All is in readiness for the assault on the island.


Foul Weather
Edward Millman #54
Watercolor, 1945
24 1/2h" x 30 1/2w"


Like hooded monks, this coxswain and crew member wear hooded rain gear as they sit in their open boat, lashed by rain and a heavy sea.

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1 June 2001