The Gift of Art

A recent donation by Michael and Maureen Harrigan helps the Museum fulfill its mission.

(Painting by Robert Taylor)

Mission Beyond Darkness

(Robert Taylor)

In Mission Beyond Darkness, the artist's note reads:

“Following the attack against Admiral Ozawa’s Japanese carrier fleet on June 20, 1944, Admiral Mitscher defies all rules of naval engagement: In total darkness, with the ever-present danger of enemy submarines, he orders every ship in his Task Force 58 to switch on lights to guide over 100 returning carrier-borne aircraft, all desperately low on fuel. Amid the confusion, unable to get a landing slot aboard the USS Lexington, and now out of fuel, a pilot and his gunner scramble from their ditched SB2B Curtiss Helldiver, as a Fletcher class destroyer manoeuvres to make the pick up.”

In Robert Taylor: Air Combat Paintings of Robert Taylor Vol. IV, the author notes, “In addition to the usual amount of research needed to identify the aircraft properly, this painting required me to become familiar with both the destroyer and the carrier before I could start work on the canvas. With the destroyer featuring so prominently, I needed to know exactly how she would have looked all those years ago. When people ask me how long it takes to complete a painting, which they often do, I believe most are referring to the time I spend at the easel. I usually try to emphasize the amount of time it takes to get to the point where I can start to put paint on canvas. Sometimes this can be almost half as much as the time spent with the brush, this painting being one that fell into that category.”

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