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William S. Phillips - LEST WE FORGET -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          LEST WE FORGET
by William S. Phillips

Original Retail Price $195.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 1250
Image Size: 32 3/4"w x 20"h.
Published: July 1985

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"While visiting friends in England during 1984, I had the opportunity to travel to a number of now-abandoned 8th Air Force Bases. One afternoon, we took a bicycle ride to an old church nearby. I was so moved by what I saw that I felt I would have to try and make some type of statement."

An open letter about this painting to a friend I never knew:

The scene. It probably hasn't changed much. The afternoon skies are full of billowing cumulus clouds and the trees and fields are alive with the bounty of summer. The sounds of engines and men's voices gone, replaced by a gentle whisper of the wind through grain fields or the song of an occasional bird. In the distance, one can hear the laughter of children.

The planes. They are the big six of the 8th Air Force: B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-26 Martin Marauder, P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning and P-47 Thunderbolt. You worked on them during freezing nights of winter and nursed them home, so badly damaged it seemed there was no way they could fly. You gave them names and they took on their own personalities.

The boy. He is part of a generation you probably didn't give much thought to at the time, for you see, he is your grandson. He lives in a world that would amaze you. Oh, it is still far from perfect but because of your sacrifice and the sacrifice of thousands like you, he still have the right to choose freedom over oppression.

The old churchyard. It is still there much the same as when you were here. But there is a monument there now that you wouldn't have seen. It stands as a reminder to all who view it that you paid the ultimate price for their rights and freedoms.

The painting. It expresses that childlike innocence and idealism that we all possess; at times hidden away, but there if we but attempt to find it. The painting is a personal memorial to your sacrifice from my generation and those generations yet unborn . . . "Lest We Forget."

Countersigners: General Curtis E. LeMay and Eighth Air Force Pilots Bill Lawley, Andrew Low, James Farrell, Robin Olds, Hub Zemke and Gerald Brown.

William S. Phillips
Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his livelihood. At college he majored in criminology and had been accepted into law school when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant. That was all the incentive he needed to begin his work as a fine art painter. Bill Phillips is now a renowned aviation artist and the landscape artist of choice for many collectors. Bill's strengths as a landscape painter, a respect and reverence for a time and place, help him when painting aviation as well as classic landscapes. Phillips often spends days observing landscape subjects. Finding companionship with the land, he is able to convey the boundlessness of nature on the painted canvas inspiring a reverence for the natural landscape in its beholders. After one of his paintings was presented to King Hussein of Jordan, Phillips was commissioned by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. He developed sixteen major paintings, many of which now hang in the Royal Jordanian Air Force Museum in Amman. The Smithsonian Institutionís National Air and Space Museum presented a one-man show of Phillipsí work in 1986. He is one of only a few artists to have been so honored. In 1988, Phillips was chosen to be a U.S. Navy combat artist. For his outstanding work, the artist was awarded the Navyís Meritorious Public Service Award and the Air Force Sergeants Associationís Americanism Medal. At the prestigious annual fund raiser for the National Park Service, Billís work has been included in the Top 100 each year he has entered the competition and his work has won the Art History Award twice. Phillips was selected as the Fall 2004 Artist in Residence at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and tapped by the U.S. Postal Service to paint the stamp illustrations and header design for a pane of twenty stamps in 1997 entitled Classic American Aircraft. He was chosen again in 2005 for a pane of twenty stamps (ten designs) entitled American Advances in Aviation. Billís major collection of aviation art, Into the Sunlit Splendor, was published by The Greenwich Workshop Press in 2005.


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