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 David Franklin Leavitt  (1897 - 1945)

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Lived/Active: Missouri/Massachusetts      Known for: illustrator, designer, muralist

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Ad Code: 4
David Franklin Leavitt
An example of work by David Franklin Leavitt
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted April 2005, is from David Nash Leavitt, paternal nephew of the artist.

David Franklin Leavitt was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 28, 1897 to Franklin and Margaret Nash Leavitt. He died in an US Navy aircraft incident in 1945 when he bailed out over the Chesapeake Bay, and was recovered several days later wrapped in his parachute. At the time he was a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. During WWII he developed the dye used to find downed pilots in the water, and several other air/sea rescue aids. He also designed the aircraft insignia (star and bar) which is still in use today on all military aircraft. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

David Franklin Leavitt was an artist and muralist of some note in St. Louis, MO and Chicago IL. He painted the mural "History of Medicine" which was in the A.S. Aloe building in St. Louis, and several other large murals in Chicago.

In the mid-1930's he traveled around the world and painted for several Dutch businessmen. He spent several years in Bali painting, and had a show of his paintings in St. Louis and Chicago in the late 30's. He used oil, French crayon, linoleum and wood cuts for block printing.

David Leavitt was in WWI as a Sergeant in a machine gun company, and remained in Paris after the war to study at the L'Ecole des Beaux Arts. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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