Soldiers with Cannon, World War I
Medium: Two-color lithograph
Dimensions: composition: 21 1/2 × 16 1/2 in. (54.6 × 41.9 cm)
sheet: 24 3/16 × 19 1/4 in. (61.4 × 48.9 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the estate of Frieda Becher, 1972
About: Harry Everett 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 specialized 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.
His war drawings, reproduced as posters and prints, and later published as Diary of a War artist, often center on the machinery of war. Townsend depicted heavy battery weapons, including marine guns and anti-aircraft defenses, deployed by the American army. His drawings and prints often center on such devices, although many also record the suffering of people directly affected by combat.
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