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False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage
Faculty Book Gallery
  • Roy R. Behrens, University of Northern Iowa

An engaging and often amusing account of the little known use of artists, designers, and architects as army, navy, and civilian camouflage experts (called "camoufleurs") during World Wars I and II. Described and illustrated are documented attempts--some ingenious, others bizarre--at "fooling the eye" by such prominent artists (from France, England, the US, and Germany) as Abbott H. Thayer, Jean-Louis Forain, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac, Jacques Villon, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Norman Wilkinson, Everett Warner, Sherry Fry, Barry Faulkner, Homer Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Waugh, Edward Seago, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Charles Burchfield, Oskar Schlemmer, Franz Marc, Edward Wadsworth, William Stanley Hayter, Roland Penrose, Julian Trevelyan, Eric Sloane, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Gyorgy Kepes, Jon Gnagy, Arshile Gorky, Victor Papenek, and Ellsworth Kelly. Illustrated by 120 vintage photographs, diagrams, and artworks, the text explains how the strategies used to conceal objects in nature and warfare are based on the very same "unit-forming factors" that artists, designers, and architects use every day in the creation of paintings, prints, fonts, logos, page layouts, web sites, furniture, buildings, and so on. Throughout the book, the author makes shrewd observations about the connections of art, design, and camouflage to such seemingly wide-ranging topics as Gestalt psychology, esthetics, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, psychoanalysis, kindergarten, creativity, the Bauhaus, Frank Lloyd Wright, humor, dream analysis, Rockwell Kent, poetry, pickpockets, and sleight of hand. Of additional interest are a camouflage timeline, an account of the etymology of the word camouflage, and a 10-page bibliography, the largest ever compiled on the subject of art and camouflage. -- Provided by publisher

  • Stein,
  • Gertrude,
  • -- 1874-1946; Le Corbusier,
  • -- 1887-1965
Document Type
Publication Date
Bobolink Books
Department of Art

1st edition

Object Description
223 p. ; 23 cm
Citation Information
EJ 8/2/2018