Howard Brodie War Artist

Drawing shows four soldiers carrying a wounded soldier on a litter at the front during the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal.

Howard BrodieFor Veterans Day 2019, we want to introduce our audience to the work of Howard Brodie. Mr. Brodie was born in 1915 in Oklahoma. After briefly attending the California School of Fine Arts he worked as a sports illustrator until the beginning of World War Two when he enlisted in the Army. 

Drawing shows four soldiers carrying a wounded soldier on a litter at the front during the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal.

Mr. Brodie was a combat sketch artist. He never carried a gun, often served in combat situations and occasionally worked as a medic. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star for valor.  

Top turret B-17 Howard Brodie

His pencil drawings are extremely confident and technically robust showing us how the medium can match the message. His pencil work reminds us of Earnest Watson and Mark Freeman. 

Portrait of a Medic, Howard BrodieMr. Brodies drawings were often of  two extremes, boredom and death. He became the leading war artist for Yank Magazine.  This image, Portrait of a Medic became quite famous during the war.  

PBS has a terrific tribute to Mr. Brodies life and work including this quote:

“My most searing memory of any war was during the battle of the bulge, when Germans posing as GI’s infiltrated our lines. I heard we were going to execute three of them…A defenseless human is entirely different than a man in action. Howard Brodie German ExecutionTo see these three young men calculatingly reduced to quivering corpses before my eyes really burned into my being. That’s the only drawing I’ve ever had that’s been censored. All coverage of the execution was censored.” HB 

Many of Mr. Brodies works can be found in his book  Drawing Fire: A Combat Artist at War : Pacific Europe Korea Indochina Vietnam with an introduction by none other than Walter Cronkite.Howard Brodie Compassion

Mr. Brodie went on to become a court artist covering many famous trial including that of Patty Hearst and Charles Manson. He lived until 2010 when he passed away at the age of 94. Here is a short piece about his life in The New York Times.

Here are some of our favorite drawings

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