NOMA recognizes Ghost Army veteran and printmaking pioneer in "Jim Steg: New Work"

Amanda Winstead Fine Art
Oct 17, 2017 9:26PM

March 29, 2017 || New Orleans Museum of Art || Press Release

Shoreline at Night, 1957, Color woodcut on paper, Courtesy of Frances Swigart-Steg and Amanda Winstead, 2017.2.27

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Works celebrating the life-spanning accomplishments of printmaker, war veteran, and professor Jim Steg will be on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) from March 31 – October 8, 2017 in Jim Steg: New Work. Steg was the most influential printmaker to be based in New Orleans in the twentieth century. Throughout his life, Steg used almost every known printmaking method of his time, and even pioneered several of his own. Etchings, woodcuts, drawings, photo-resist etchings, Xerox toner works, and many other works that have never before been on public display are included in Jim Steg: New Work, the artist’s first retrospective exhibition. Restlessly inventive, NOMA’s exhibition reveals Steg as an artist at the forefront of several major twentieth-century movements and one of the nation’s most innovative printmakers.

“Jim Steg was a true trailblazer. He completely embodied his role as a gifted artist and innovator,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA Director. “We are honored to showcase some of his own significant accomplishments at NOMA.”

Among many of the notable chapters in his story, Steg served in the World War II division now known as the Ghost Army, which was responsible for deceiving the armies of the Third Reich by faking troop movements using inflatable tanks and other theatrical props and equipment. The Ghost Army was comprised of a number of soldiers with artistic or theatrical backgrounds, including artist Ellsworth Kelly and fashion designer Bill Blass. During the war, Steg produced dozens of graphite or watercolor portraits of civilians, soldiers, or refugees that he encountered along the way. It is likely that the refugees he depicted did not live to see the war’s end, making these drawings a haunting, but lasting, legacy. These works, and others, will be on display at NOMA, along with a full-scale replica of an inflatable tank, much like the tanks employed by The Ghost Army.

“Jim Steg’s work in almost any period is very accomplished and was historically recognized as such,” said Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, Prints, and Drawings at NOMA. “He was selected for the prestigious Carnegie International more than once, and he even received a Fulbright grant to lecture in Pakistan in 1959. Our goal is to remind contemporary audiences of his past achievements while at the same time introducing a number of never-before-seen works.”

Click Here to Read NOMA's Full Press Release.

Amanda Winstead Fine Art