Soldier in a Cart, World War I
Medium: Two-color lithograph
Dimensions: sheet: 24 1/2 × 18 3/4 in. (62.2 × 47.6 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the estate of Frieda Becher, 1972
About: Harry Townsend worked as a sign painter for local businesses in his native Illinois until he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He then worked in advertising art until he joined Howard Pyle's classes in Wilmington from 1900 to 1904. He settled in Leonia, New Jersey, and began his prolific career as an illustrator for major book and magazine publishers; he also maintained a studio in France until the beginning of World War I. In 1918 he was selected by the Army Corps of Engineers as one of eight artists who traveled with the American Expeditionary Forces to the battlefront.
In May of 1918, Townsend first had the opportunity to see the heavy battery weapons, including ten-inch marine guns and anti-aircraft defenses, deployed in northeastern France. His war diary describes the beautiful ancient chateaus--scarred by shells and used to house troops--and the awe-inspiring weapons of modern warfare.
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