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The World War II Artist Peter Hurd

Peter Hurd -(February 22, 1904 – July 9, 1984) was a combat artist and war correspondent for LIFE Magazine. His military art told through a series of 58 works of pen and ink, ink washes, watercolors, and egg temperas. It's the story of one of the several combat artists whose work provided not only the physical accuracy of a photograph, but a sense of human feelings engendered by the horrors and devastations of war.

When Time, Inc.’s Henry Luce launched LIFE Magazine in 1936 with a mission “to see life, to see the world,” he determined the best way to achieve that goal was to follow the wisdom of a Chinese proverb: “One picture is worth more than a thousand words.” He filled his new publication with photographs from around the globe, and it became a huge success. Five years later, as America prepared to enter World War II, LIFE pioneered an unprecedented way to present the “mysteries and the spectacle of war” that it was already showing its readers through black-and-white photos. Seven American artists/correspondents were sent to war theaters to create sketches and paintings from first-hand observations. Thirty-eight-year-old Peter Hurd was one of them.

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