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Arthur Beaumont 1890-1978

Arthur Beaumont was 51 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Haror. In spite of his age, he served as naval artist during WWII and beyond.

Arthur Beaumont, Ship, Sailboat and Buoy
Ship, Sailboat and Buoy, 1927
Black and white ink drawing

Arthur Beaumont aboard the USS Aircraft carrier Midway in 1945, soon after the ship was commissioned.
Arthur Beaumont aboard the USS aircraft carrier Midway, 1945
The Midway was commissioned just days after WWII ended.

By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Beaumont had been a naval artist for nearly a decade. At age 42 in 1932, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. Since there was no established track for a naval artist, the Navy sent him into the intelligence service. Before the start of World War II, Beaumont painted almost every ship in the U.S. fleet. In addition, he produced paintings for the Navy depicting Japanese fishing boats infiltrating U. S. harbors to gain information.

In 1939, , "Beau" had been recruited by William Randolph Hearst to create images illustrating stories of battles across Europe. Because his images were for printing in newspapers, he created black and white ink drawings.

Beau's war work was indeed fine art, but it was also a valuable record of history. He was an exceptional visual story teller. He was one of the first to create images of historic events, such as the British evacuation of troops from Dunkirk and the Fall of France as Nazi troops marched down the Champs Elysee.

After WW II, he created paintings during the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was the only artist at the Bikini atomic bomb tests in 1946 and the only artist to record the Northwest Passage endeavor in the 1960s, and he was the first artist ever at the South Pole.

Beau came to the United States via Canada at age 19 in 1909. He studied art the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art (San Francisco), the Chouinard Art Institute, the Los Angeles School of Art, the Slade School of Art in London and the, Academie Julian in Paris. He later taught at the Chouinard Art Institute. Today he is best known for his watercolors of naval ships and harbor scenes.