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German POW painting, inscription and mystery autograph. Help.

Article about: The images attached are of an oil painting made by a German POW and presented to his Compound Comander at Camp Ruston, Louisiana on April 26, 1945. The inscription on the reverse reads: &quo

  1. #1

    Default German POW painting and signatures.

    The images attached are of an oil painting made by a German POW and presented to his Compound Comander at Camp Ruston, Louisiana on April 26, 1945. The inscription on the reverse reads: "We present this with grateful appreciation to our Compound Commander, 1st Lieutenant Vickers B. Watts A?S--from whom we have received considerate and sympathatic treatment. We will long remember our pleasant associations with him." The inscription is signed by 19 soldiers -- all offiiciers and one Soldat. From what I have read, there were a large number of Afrika Korps prisoners at Camp Ruston including some Generals. Can anyone translate the script at the top of the list of signatures? The signature atop the list is Luftwaffe Major Heinz Lettau, Rommel's chief meteorologist, who predicted that the weather on June 6th would be unfavorable for an invasion. Lettau emigrated to the U.S. and became a distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin.
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    Last edited by Uncle Paul; 10-11-2010 at 02:39 PM.

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  3. #2
    piw
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    Default Re: German POW painting, inscription and mystery autograph. Help.

    Can tell you nothing about the writing on the reverse but as an art lover the painting is pretty good as a stand alone artwork.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: German POW painting, inscription and mystery autograph. Help.

    The style of the painting is impressionist using an impasto ( heavy application of paint ) technique. It also uses design techniques taught in post secondary art classes. In other words the artist was well schooled in art. The image is restful and pleaseing to the eye. This style was used by many of the artists influenced by the Munchen ( Munich ) Bauhause school of art in Bavaria which was closed by the Nazi's in the 1930's. Post impressionist art was not considered acceptable by the Nazis before and during the war and was also considered degenerate art. Neo realism ( art that looks like a photograph ) was the only art considered acceptable by the Nazi's. Art by intellectuals, nonaryans, etc., was frowned upon and not tolerated or allowed to be displayed publicly. In other words the Nazi's did not allow individual thought or expression in art, literature, film, etc..
    The vast majority of official neo realistic (NAZI ART) sits in a salt mine in Wyoming, USA today. A great uncle of mine was transfered to the 101st division inspecter generals office in Bavaria and participated in the confiscation and shipment of Nazi art to the USA. He was a captain at the time . His name was William N. Beekman. He was a metalurgist and art was his secondary major in college. His job during WWII was as a liason officer between the Pentagon and the boys working at Los Alamos on the Manhattan project.
    It is a great painting and I would think its value would be somewhere around 4 or 5 thousand dollars at auction at Christies or Southebies with its provenance.
    I can't tell you zip about the attograph other than he wasn't a student of caligraphy.
    Steve

  5. #4

    Default Re: German POW painting, inscription and mystery autograph. Help.

    Very glad you like the painting. Thanks for looking.

  6. #5

    Default Re: German POW painting, inscription and mystery autograph. Help.

    Many thanks for your thoughtful reply, Steve. Your great uncle's story sounds fascinating and I appreciate you sharing it. All the best.
    Paul

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