Family Traditions of Service: Untitled Painting [Soldiers in a Room], 1945

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Untitled Painting [Soldiers in a Room] (front), Artist: Joseph Albert Haymes Jr.

Untitled Painting [Soldiers in a Room] (front), Artist: Joseph Albert Haymes Jr.

Originally from Virginia, Joseph Albert Haymes Jr. was a WWII sniper in Europe in the Third Army, under the leadership of Gen. George Patton. Haymes was awarded the Bronze Star as well as the Purple Heart for wounds while a sniper. Before the war, he studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. While in Europe, he created drawings and paintings during his downtime which demonstrated his views and the mood of Americans in WWII. Haymes came to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1950, and was a partner in one of North Carolina’s most important advertising firms—Long, Haymes and Carr, Inc.

This color painting on paper of three soldiers (believed to be Americans) shows the inside of a room with a table and a window. One soldier is standing and lighting a cigarette. Two soldiers are sitting at a table, with one facing away from the viewer and wearing headphones, listening to a reel-to-reel tape machine. It was painted in 1945 by Haymes while he was in Linz, Austria—possibly on occupation duty.

Untitled Painting [Soldiers in a Room] (back), Artist: Joseph Albert Haymes Jr.

Untitled Painting [Soldiers in a Room] (back), Artist: Joseph Albert Haymes Jr.

Back of painting: Due to limited art supplies while involved in the war, note how Haymes utilizes the back of a regular piece of paper as his color mixing palette. This shows how a soldier on the front lines still managed to do art under hostile circumstances, often to help him cope with the chaos around him and provide some level of normalcy amidst the chaos.

Credit line: ©Joseph Albert Haymes Jr., Accession # 2015.5.71, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

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