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May 2, 2017

Sketches From the War: Amazing Sketchbooks of a U.S Soldier Reveal What Soldier's Life Was Truly Like in World War II

When Victor Lundy was 21 years old, he was an American solider in World War II. Thanks to him, we are getting a glimpse into the life of a soldier over 70 years later. Because of Lundy’s passion and talent for drawing, we can now see exactly how the war looked in 1944 through the eyes of a young man.

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 Lundy

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.



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