Artist Steve Mumford comes to the Pritzker Military Library fresh from a visit to Iraq to discuss his book Baghdad Journal in a special Tuesday evening presentation on April 24, 2007. Mumford traveled as an embedded journalist with U.S. military units to locations in Iraq such as Basra, Baghdad, Tikrit, Samarra, Karbala, Kirkuk, Dohuk and Hilla in multiple visits since 2003. While there, Mumford captured the day-to-day existence of American Soldiers and Iraqis in drawings and paintings.
Baghdad Journal is the outstanding culmination of visits to Iraq by Mumford. Following a tradition of war artists, particularly Winslow Homer's work for Harper's Magazine, Mumford meticulously documents the everyday scenes of Iraq in bold, breathtaking watercolors and drawings and paints a human side of the war that can be lost in the immediacy of photographic and broadcast images. Not overtly political, Baghdad Journal presents portraits of life from all sides of the polarizing conflict. With sketchpad and notebook in hand, Mumford illuminates the activities of a nation in turmoil from the individual soldiers of American platoons to Baghdad residents going about their daily lives amid the chaos surrounding them.
Mumford is well known in the gallery circles of London and New York. His works from his visits to Iraq have brought Mumford media attention including placements on the New York Times, Today Show, Boston Globe, New York Magazine, The Phoenix, and was honored as the ABC News Person of the Week (Dec. 17, 2004).
Mumford's exhibition entitled Drawn to War is a show of 49 original works. It opened in the Pritzker Military Library Gallery on Thursday, March 15, 2007 and runs through April 30, 2007. The Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call 312-587-0234 for details or to arrange group or school visits.
Dispatches from Iraq
"I'm getting some good drawings here at the 28 CSH (28th US Army Combat Surgical Hospital), although it's sometimes an emotional experience as you can imagine. Mostly its Iraqis coming in with substantial wounds from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), sniper fire, etc. The other day two American came in after a rocket landed in the Green Zone and scored a lucky hit. Both died on despite the all-out efforts of the medical team to save them. This makes drawing quite a challenge amidst all the chaos of the ER, and the shock of taking it all in.
I'm very struck by the heroism of the Iraqis who risk and sacrifice so much for the Iraqi army."
DVD 2007-04-24: Steve Mumford
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