GEORGE F. EARLE PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
Sixty-three of George F. Earle's original World War II oil paintings and a photograph album containing approximately 420 photographs of the Kiska Island invasion and occupation comprise the bulk of the collection. Limited personal papers also form part of the collection. Sixty-three color slides of Earle's paintings are for viewing only and may not be reproduced.
George F. Earle helped to produce a musical comedy titled Hale and Hearty: a Musical Comedy in Two Acts while he was stationed at Camp Hale. A script, program and notes related to this production comprise a portion of the series. Newspaper clippings document an Alaskan art exhibition, in which Earle displayed his Kiska oil paintings. Correspondence, brochures and the typed text of a symposium presentation about the Kiska invasion entitled Kiska: Birth of a Division are also included.
Sixty-three original oil paintings depict the operations of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment on Kiska Island and the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. George F. Earle painted these works in the field, occasionally under combat conditions. The Kiska paintings appear slightly different in style from the Italian paintings. Earle explained that he was able to complete his Kiska paintings in the field, but in Italy he often had to create ink sketches in the field and add color to them later. The paintings are arranged in the numeric order assigned by Earle, and although the paintings do not have specific titles, the subjects or titles listed in the finding aid are inferred from Earle's notations. Paintings are matted with Earle's painting number and notations applied in pencil on the verso.
The series also includes two copies of a special, limited edition art portfolio containing selected Earle prints. This portfolio was created for the 1992 Vail, Colorado reunion of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division. An additional portfolio contains prints of all sixty-three original paintings.
The series includes two overview maps of the 10th Mountain Division's Italian campaign, which were sketched and painted by George F. Earle as aerial overviews. The smaller map concentrates on Riva Ridge and Mount Belevedere, while the larger map depicts the area between the Apennines and Lake Garda, including the Po River crossing area. A six-page descriptive text accompanies the maps. Earle produced these maps for use at the 1992 reunion of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division.
A photograph album, containing approximately 420 black and white photographs interspersed with Earle's diary entries, notes and copies of a limited number of his paintings, comprises the bulk of the series. Virtually all photographs depict the Kiska Island operation, although a limited number of prints portray Camp Hale, Colorado and the pre-invasion training, which took place at Fort Ord, California. Typed excerpts from Earle's diary are mounted on album pages. Copies of these excerpts are also provided, and these must be used to create researcher-requested copies. The album also includes a translation from the diary of Nebu Tetsuoghi, a Japanese medical officer killed during the battle for Attu Island.
Sixty-three 35mm color transparencies and a limited number of color photographic prints of Earle's original oil paintings comprise a portion of the series. These transparencies are for viewing only and may not be reproduced. The series also includes black and white photographs of a performance of Hale and Hearty: a Musical Comedy in Two Acts, which Earle helped to produce.
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
The collection is open for research. Color transparencies included in Series 4 may not be reproduced.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
George F. Earle (1913-2010) was born and grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts where he began oil painting at the age of 8. He studied art at Syracuse University and started the university’s first ski team. After graduation, Earle spent a year painting in Mexico and then began work on an advanced degree in fine arts at Yale University.
Earle volunteered for the Army the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, but he did not immediately receive his orders. He was finally able to enlist on February 9, 1942 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. During basic training at Camp Roberts, California, Earle wrote and read letters for men in his company, many of whom were illiterate Pennsylvania coal miners. Earle's concern for these men led, in part, to his selection for Officer's Candidate School.
Following his commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant, Earle found his way into the 10th Mountain Division where he became a ski instructor with the Mountain Training Group at Camp Hale, Colorado. However, most of Earle's service with the 10th Mountain Division was with the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment.
Throughout the invasion and occupation of Kiska Island, as well as during combat operations in Italy, Earle continued to paint. Earle says he used “the smallest tubes of paint and one brush for four years, using gasoline instead of turpentine and painting most of the scenes in 30 minutes or less.” Regrettably, Earle says he remembers painting many more Kiska scenes, but concludes, "I must have lost a lot of them."
After the war Earle finished his M.A. degree at Yale University. He then returned to Syracuse University to coach skiing and to direct what was at that time the largest ski school in the United States. During his career, Earle taught architecture, art design and art history. He also continued to paint landscapes and portraits. He is Professor Emeritus of Art, Art History and Design at the State University of New York.
Earle wrote extensively. After World War II, he was selected to write the official history of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment. He also authored a book about the Kiska invasion and occupation, Birth of a Division, based on a slide presentation to the Alaska at War symposium held in 1993. Earle also co-edited Design and Aesthetics in Wood (1972). The State University of New York Department of Landscape Architecture offers the George F. Earle scholarship, which was established in 2003.
In 1983, Earle joined nine other 10th Mountain Division veterans on a return trip to Kiska to place a memorial to the men of the 87th Infantry Regiment.
1 oversize boxes
Other Finding Aids
Gift; George F. Earle; 1993, 2002.. He donated additional materials in 2002.
Number of Boxes: 1 (.25 linear feet)
Oversize: 1 OVBox, 1 OVFF, 1 PhotoOVBox
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Animals -- Alaska -- Kiska Island. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Camp Hale (Colo.). Subject Source: Naf
- Earle, George F. -- Archives.
- Kiska Island (Alaska). Subject Source: Naf
- Painting, American. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Plants -- Alaska -- Kiska Island. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Ski troops. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Soldiers -- United States -- Correspondence. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- United States. -- Army. -- Mountain Division, 10th.
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, Japanese. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- GEORGE F. EARL PAPERS
- Revised August 2011
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