Art Showcase

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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / The Modern Era

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.



Battle of Anacostia Flats, The




This original painting is currently being auctioned at Heritage Auction on February 25, 2017. On-line bidding is available now. LEARN MORE

Historical Information
Having been out of work from the beginning of the Great Depression, seventeen thousand World War I veterans travelled to Washington, D.C. with their families during the summer of 1932. The main demand of the "Bonus Army" was for early cash payment of their service certificates. Most of them were camped in "Hooverville" on the Anacostia Flats – constructed from materials found in nearby dumps.

After the Senate rejected the bonus, many of the protesters went home. On July 28, the police were ordered to remove the remaining protesters. Violence erupted and two veterans were shot and killed. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to evict the Bonus Army from Washington. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur and Major George Patton, the infantry and cavalry charged the protesters, evicting the veterans and their families and then burned their shelters and belongings.

The battle of Anacostia Flats may have been a contributing factor in Hoover's re-election loss as president to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Mort Künstler's Comments
A very complex picture, this magazine assignment had to be done in three days. I used a very different technique of line and wash, spending most of my time to draw it up.

Date Created: 1961

Medium: Mixed media

Image Size: 14" x 22"

 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.