Soldiers’ art tells war stories at new Ohio museumWritten by Associated Press | | email@example.com
A World War I soldier’s drawing of a night-time raid he witnessed is one of many pieces of soldiers’ artwork in a new museum devoted to history and art from World Wars I and II.
The World War History & Art Museum opened May 28 in Alliance in northeast Ohio. It includes pieces created by soldiers and others who saw the wars firsthand. Some of the nearly 300 pieces by World War I soldiers were drawn at night in the trenches.
Those pieces and more by World War II soldiers, sailors and airmen are depicted through watercolor, oil paintings and pencil and ink drawings. The work was done by military personnel representing the United States, Germany, France, Italy and other countries.
“They were soldiers and not professionals, but some of their work is very good,” museum owner and curator Joel Parkinson said.
The mostly “simple and subdued” artwork depicts the grim and sometimes routine realities of war, Parkinson said.
One of the consistent themes illustrated throughout the art collection “is that war is not fun and games,” he said.
Most of the works in the museum are from Parkinson’s personal collection of art and memorabilia. Some of it was handed down through his family, and some he collected through the years.
War relics, such as grenades, swords and even barbed wire from World War I, are among the artifacts on exhibit. There also are about 2,500 toy soldiers on display, along with front pages of newspapers leading up to World War I and Nazi press photos of Adolf Hitler.
The museum also features a coverlet made of panels embroidered by wounded soldiers recovering at a hospital in England during World War I, Parkinson said.
“Thirty soldiers recovering in a hospital ward each embroidered one square-foot panel, and then they wove all the panels together,” he said.
Parkinson did not serve in the military but said he worked as an engineer conducting nuclear research on submarines and grew up surrounded by military history and memorabilia.
“An interest in history is in my blood,” Parkinson said.
Museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and closed Sundays and Mondays, except Memorial Day. It is located at 1300 E. State St., Alliance, Ohio. Alliance is approximately 175 miles in distance from Toledo, southeast of Akron.
Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children 6 and younger are admitted free.