See all works by Dean Cornwell
USAAF navigator plotting a course to target
Unframed (ref: 4832)
Inscribed on the reverse: To Charles, Dean Cornwell,
Oil on board,
15 x 17 in. (38.1 x 43.2 cm)
Tags: transport war
Provenance: Charles Swerdzewski, c.1945
Mary Ann Swerdzewski, Florida
This picture shows a degree of artistic licencse: the USAAF navigator is wearing a
Flak helmet but he should technically also be wearing an oxygen mask. The RAF only
used Flak suits and helmets experimentally and they were not general issue (being too heavy and uncomfortable) but the USAAF used them quite widely. It is also unusual to show a USAAF aeroplane flying by night : generally the RAF flew the night
operations and the USAAF were responsible for the day operations. The aeroplane in the window represents a Boeing B-17, ( a ‘Flying Fortress’).
Dean Cornwell, one of the most successful American illustrators of the first half of the Twentieth Century, worked as Brangwyn’s assistant from 1926-1930. For over three decades Cornwell was known as the “Dean of Illustrators”, highly regarded as a teacher and idolized by a generation of illustrators, lecturing at the Art Students League and at art museums and societies throughout the United States during the “Golden Age of Illustration”. Between 1914 and the late 1950s he produced over 1000 illustrations for poems, stories, novels and as advertising for hundreds of products, such as Palmolive Soap, Coca-Cola, Goodyear tyres, and Seagrams Whiskey. In addition his historic murals decorate over 20 public buildings across the United States.