Veteran Poets: Graffiti & the Vietnam War

There has already been a lot of press and events surrounding the current exhibit at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, but if you haven’t yet had a chance to visit, do so soon.


The title of the exhibit is: Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam. Guest curator Art Beltrone (a military artifact historian and former marine) began collecting graffiti from the Vietnam War in the late 1990s after assisting with the production of Terrence Malick’s film update of The Thin Red Line. During this project he visited the wreck of the General Nelson M Walker and noticed the graffiti that covered parts of the ship. Art, and his wife Lee, began a quest to recover and preserve this informal wartime art (created by veterans) and to collect the stories behind the art. A sample of their 150 canvases is on display at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society through February. Only one of the canvases mentions Charlottesville, but each canvas provides insight into the concerns of soldiers and aspects of their daily life while serving abroad. The exhibit features a cell phone tour that allows you to listen to interviews with veterans. A book and movie also accompany the exhibit. For more information and directions to the Historical Society please visit their website. Or read more about the exhibit from local news media coverage, C-ville or the Daily Progress. The exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.