"I Always Had Pads with Me": A G.I. Artist's Sketchpad, 1943-1944
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“I Always Had Pads with Me”: A G.I. Artist’s Sketchpad, 1943–1944

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war, thousands of Americans enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. Among them was twenty-year-old Bronx resident Ben Hurwitz. Like many of the men and women who entered military service, Hurwitz (who changed his name to Brown after the war) kept a record of his experiences. But his “journal” was a sketchpad, and, during his two years in North Africa and Italy, Corporal Hurwitz drew and painted at every opportunity. Hurwitz’s pictures are accompanied by the artist’s commentary transcribed by historian Joshua Brown in November 1996. Sketches used with permission of Eleanor A. Brown.


I had a tremendous desire to sketch. I always had pads with me. 


[Thumbnail images of all 24 sketches]