We frequently receive research requests here. And we try to fulfill them as best we can, although often we have to send people over to our library. Many times people want to come in and view and photograph an object that they are interested in, which we are happy to oblige. Usually in the process of aiding someone in their research, we learn something as well.
Recently I had a researcher come in to look at our triptych’s, of which we have four. One is currently displayed in our A-Z gallery, but the other three have been in storage the entire time I’ve been here, so I’ve never been able to see them until now, and they are very beautiful!
During the World War II era, a number of these triptych’s were made by the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy to show support for the troops and “to convey to them for their leisure time those comforts which their life allows, and as many recreational, intellectual, and inspirational resources for studies and advancement; hobbies for their relaxation…”
This first triptych is the one currently on display. All four triptychs were commissioned by the Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy. This one was painted by Ethel Parsons Paullin in 1943. It is marked #143 on the back. It was made for use aboard the USS Essex and features three angels. One in the center of a compass rose, the one on the left holding an anchor, and the one on the right holding a sextant.
This piece was painted in 1942 by Salvatore Lascari for the U.S. Naval Station in Green Cove Springs, Florida. On the back of many of these it states that if the assigned base no longer desires the triptych, then they are to be returned to the Citizens Committee for the Army & Navy.
This piece is my particular favorite because of the waves, colors, and battleships on either side. It is very visually striking. It was painted by Alfred J. Tulk sometime between 1940 and 1945 for USS Knox. I have my doubts about whether or not it was used much or at all on the ship though, because the piece is in very good condition.
This last piece was painted in 1942 by Louise Brann for another base, not a ship.