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Welcoming the University of Michigan and local community to join us today for our Pop-up Exhibit: From the Front, offering a face-to-face look at historical materials created by veterans from the Revolutionary War through World War II. Here are a few glimpses of what's on display today until 4pm in our Norton Strange Townshend Room. ... See MoreSee Less

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Ann Arbor resident and University of Michigan Professor Emeritus Bill Lewis returned home from World War II with more than 200 drawings and paintings he made during his service in the Navy. Much of Lewis’ wartime artwork is now part of the William L. Clements Library collections, where it complements a remarkable range of primary resources documenting American military life.

This Friday, stop by our Pop-up Exhibit: From the Front to see selected paintings, drawings, letters, journals and other materials created by #veterans from the Revolutionary War through World War II. Visitors can enjoy a close-up look at exemplary collections pieces including Bill Lewis’ work (and even chat with his son, Clayton Lewis, our Curator of Graphic Materials.) Check out the full schedule of Veterans Week events on campus: vets.umich.edu/vetsweek/

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William A. Lewis entered the University of Michigan as a student of engineering and naval architecture in 1940. Lewis transferred to Art and Design after discovering that he was really more interested in how ships looked than how they were built. After the war he was hired to teach at the school and advanced to Associate Dean before retiring to Professor Emeritus status in the 1980s.

Lewis joined the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1938. Activated in 1942, he documented his career onboard small patrol vessels and the Essex class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Shangra La. In the navy, tedium and idleness came in large doses between actions. Perfect for a gifted watercolorist when that idle time was in picturesque Pacific islands and atolls. A shipmate assured him that because of his constant drawing "you won't go crazy."

Lewis' spontaneous depictions capture the beauty of the Pacific and the massive strength and firepower of the U.S. Navy.
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Did you receive our November "Clements Connection"? Get up to speed with the William L. Clements Library's latest news and upcoming events: conta.cc/2JT85oa Follow the link and click "Join Email List" to sign up to receive it every month!

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