World War II Sketches by Victor A. Lundy
Prints and Photographs
Collection digitized? Yes. See Access section below.
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"August 25th 1944, there's a sketch which says 'overseas at last,' and since then, I realized we were part of a very significant occasion.... this is real."
A visual diary with 158 pencil sketches brings to life the wartime experience of noted architect Victor A. Lundy, who served in the U.S. 26th Infantry Division during World War II. In 1942, Lundy was 19, studying to be an architect in New York City. Excited about rebuilding Europe post-war, he and other college men enlisted in the Army Special Training Program (ASTP). But, by 1944, with D-Day planned, the Army needed reinforcements, and Lundy and his company were thrown into the infantry. Lundy couldn't believe it and recalled during an oral history interview that during lectures, he "never listened, I was busy sketching." But soon, "I sort of took to it. ... war experience just hypnotizes young men."
Lundy applied his drawing skills to what was around him--training at
Fort Jackson, South Carolina; forced marches; men at rest; the PX and
tents; New York harbor; aboard ship in the Atlantic crossing; Cherbourg
harbor; and French villages. Many vivid portraits of fellow soldiers
and frontline danger also fill the pages. The sketches cover May to
November 1944 when Lundy was wounded, with some gaps where
notebooks were lost.
The eight surviving sketchbooks are spiral bound and 3 x 5 inches
--small enough to fit in a breast pocket. Lundy used black Hardtmuth
leads (a drawing pencil) and sketched quickly. "For me, drawing is sort
of synonymous with thinking."
Victor Alfred Lundy was born in 1923 in New York City. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he completed a degree in architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Winning the prestigious Rotch Travelling Scholarship allowed him to travel abroad. In 1954, Lundy opened an architectural firm in Sarasota, Florida. In 1967, the American Institute of Architects named him a Fellow--one of its highest honors. Lundy moved to Houston, Texas, in the 1970s. Among the notable buildings designed by this master artist-architect are churches with soaring roof lines, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Lundy is donating his architectural archive to the Library of Congress, including these World War II sketchbooks presented in 2009.
Digital images created in 2010 provide ready reference viewing copies in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. A catalog record accompanies each image. Original sketchbooks are served by appointment only, because they require special handling. For more information, see: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/info/617_apptonly.html
Users can download images themselves or can purchase copies through the Library of Congress Duplication Services. The images have been scanned at a resolution that is sufficient for most publication purposes. Duplication Services makes reproductions from the digital files, rather than from the original drawings.
Rights Information and Credit Line
There are no known restrictions on the publication of images from these sketchbooks.
Credit line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, World War Two sketches by Victor Lundy, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-DIG-ppmsca-23970]
Note: The Library
of Congress does not maintain all
of the Internet sites listed below.
should direct concerns about these
links to their respective site administrators
Lundy, Victor A. "Beyond the Harvard Box," video interview, Lundy studio, Houston, Texas, 2006, http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/events/exhibitions/Harvard_Box/victorlundy.mov
Sugarman, Tracy A. World War II drawings in "Experiencing War," Library of Congress, Veterans History Project, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.05440/
Veterans History Project, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/vets/
In 2010, Victor Lundy looked through the sketchbook images and commented on the drawings during an oral history interview with Library staff.
After a forced march
"...they're at rest, because you know, when you're on a forced march there's no way I can draw. So the other guys would be snoozing, sleeping, and I'd be sketching."
So. Carolina woods
"I'm a New York City boy, I mean, I was born in the middle of Manhattan Island. So, in a way, the infantry was my first true experience in the country, so I ate it up, I was an eager beaver. I mean, the old guys liked me, loved me, you know? Hey, we got a real one! So I used to sketch at night, South Carolina woods."
Post #9: Promenade deck
"And you know, we were far from even thinking of combat. They didn't tell us. We didn't know what was going to happen, once we landed. ...--you know, the day it happens they tell you."
[Town of Cherbourg]
"Then, we're in Cherbourg! And let me tell you, at that point, you begin to gulp, because I think it was in Cherbourg that we saw some of the real battle-hardened 4th Armored Division guys going there for a well-earned rest, passing in trucks and looking at us all squeaky clean."
Cracking the Zeigfried [i.e. Siegfried]
line, air raid over Germany.
Seen on a morning hike
"...we would see that in Normandy but also when we were in combat, at least two times, and boy, did that cheer us up on the ground."
"Kentucky," Finey Towery
"Finey Towery, he's the guy who sang that song, I was really intrigued by him. I think he was a sharpshooter, very good at that, but he was killed."
Prepared by: Karen Chittenden, Cataloging Specialist, and Sarah Rouse, May 2010.