The Appeal Of Airplane Nose Art And Gary Valant’s Book, ‘Vintage Aircraft Nose Art’
Much has been made of the place of the female form in different artistic eras and the scantily clad pin-ups of airplane nose art were a progression with a whole new purpose and style. As pieces of art, these designs are adored by many for their merit, their vintage appeal and their place in the world of folk art – personal images by amateurs and professionals that capture the mindset of a certain group of people and an important time in our culture.
The idea of these designs being cultural icons is also a massive part of their popularity and their continued use through later conflicts. The trend continued into the Korean war and Gulf conflicts as the air forces tried to recreate the sense of style and the feelings that these pieces of art evoked. Some were created to intimidate the enemy, others to raise the spirits of those back at home and most highlighted the personalities of the crew within. The names and images of film stars, state flags and weaponry personified the aircraft and helped to boost morale during difficult times; they were not just machinery used in battle they were a well-loved part of the crew that war enthusiasts are keen to remember.
Appreciating airplane nose art in your own home.
The purpose of these pieces and their scale means that physical collections are impossible and those that survive can often only be see in aircraft museums; however, there is a book that offers a solution for avid fans.
‘Vintage Aircraft Nose Art’, a compendium of beautiful images by Gary Valant, is the next best thing because it provides beautiful colour photographs of iconic images from across the wars with additional information on the crew members that inspired and created them. It is well-received by fans of aviation that want to look back on this often overlooked aspect of war culture and is seen as a great, aesthetically-pleasing coffee table book that anyone can enjoy.
I love WWII airplane nose art. True pieces of art. And no, it’s not only pinup girls! As a collector of all sorts of things, I could easily start collecting vintage photos of WWII airplane nose art. But I do have enough “stuff” to collect already! Still, I enjoy browsing photos and books on the topic.
Historical Media specialized in World War II photos, documents and collectibles. They do offer airplane nose art photos from time to time. Check in their “single photos” listings. I bought from them before and they are reliable.