|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Known for his watercolors, Mitchell Jamieson was a combat artist as well as a fine-art painter, magazine illustrator, graphic artist and teacher. He was born in Kensington, Maryland and had studios in Alexandria, Virginia, from where he was active in Washington DC, and in New York City.|
Jamieson attended the Abbot School of Fine and Commercial Arts and the Corcoran Art School in Washington DC and in 1942, became a Combat Artist for the United States Navy. He depicted Naval operations in North Africa and the South Pacific and earned the Bronze Medal for his work. He had a Guggenheim Fellowship two times and also received an award of merit from the American Academy of Art and Letters.
He contributed paintings to "Life Magazine" and from 1949 to 1951, chaired the Painting Department at the Cornish School in Seattle, Washington. From 1952 to 1955, he taught at the Madeira School in Greenway, Virginia; and from 1952 to 1953 and 1956 to 1957 at the Norton Gallery and Art School.
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
|Biography from The Navy Museum-US Navy Art Collection:|
|Mitchell Jamieson was born in Kensington, Maryland, and attended the
Abbott School of Fine and Commercial Arts and the Corcoran School of
Art in Washington, D.C. Having already established himself with many
noted commissions, he began his duty as an official combat artist when
he was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve in 1942. |
His first works for the Navy depicted amphibious training. Next, while
en route to North Africa, he made a series of paintings on convoy
operations. Upon arrival, he sketched the impact of military occupation
on North Africa. When the invasion of Sicily took place, Jamieson was
among the first wave of assault boats that landed on enemy territory.
After the invasion, he was assigned to an escort carrier where he
sketched life on board an antisubmarine patrol mission in the Atlantic.
He next found himself in England recording the preparation for the
invasion of France and painted the landings from the deck of an LST.
After completing the Normandy and Brittany series, he was transferred
to the Pacific where he arrived in Okinawa. He took part in that
invasion and afterwards went to Iwo Jima to sketch the devastation and
wreckage from that earlier invasion. He also
witnessed the Japanese Surrender on board U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay
on 2 September 1945. During the war the Navy awarded him the Bronze
Star. His combat paintings were reproduced extensively in Life, Fortune
and other national publications.
At the end of the War in 1945, Jamieson said of his Navy combat art experience,
"I have confined my paintings to what I have experienced and know to be
strictly true, at the same time having to adapt my way of working to
the pressure of time and swift-moving events. Yet anything that is
worthwhile or that has the bite of reality in the work produced under
these circumstances probably derives from a constant effort to share as
fully as possible in the lives and experiences of others."
The Navy Art Collection contains over 500 original works of WWII combat
art by Jamieson. Over 400 of these are watercolors and/or pen and ink
drawings. The rest are works in oil, charcoal or pencil.
Jamieson received an Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and
Letters (1947) and was twice awarded the prestigious Guggenheim
Fellowship (1946 and 1948) to assist his artistic creation. He
represented by the Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, D.C. and
exhibited there many times from 1958 until his death in 1976. In 1959,
Jamieson began teaching at the University of Maryland. Between
1963-1972, NASA commissioned Jamieson three times; first to depict
Project Mercury Mission and Saturn launching at Cape Kennedy, second to
cover the Lunar Spacecraft Recovery aboard U.S.S. Hornet, and third to
paint the Apollo 17 Mission.
In 1967 Jamieson volunteered as a civilian artist, not for the U.S.
Navy this time but for the U.S. Army, and went to Vietnam for about one
month. Although it was only a short stay, he immersed himself in the
scene there, traveling widely, making sketches and taking many
photographs. The result was a series of drawings he called The
Plague. Unlike the mostly sympathetic images Jamieson made of the
Second World War, the Vietnam works are angry and accusatory. The
difference is due to Jamieson's moral outrage towards the Vietnam War
and his growing pessimism towards America. Some of these works are in
the collection of the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Sadly, the
depravity and inhumanity Jamieson witnessed in Vietnam and then
depicted in The Plague series took its toll on the artist
In 1976, Jamieson ended his life.
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