Flight Through the Ages was the title of the first annual exhibition of the Guild of Aviation Artists in 1971. This book celebrates 50 years of exhibitions and includes paintings by almost one hundred Guild artists, past and present, depicting aircraft from the earliest airborne activities through to the present day. There are balloons and airships, fighters and bombers from both world wars, including Spitfires and Lancasters, airliners from the early years of air travel through Concorde and on to the present day. There are also gliders and helicopters and the current generation of advanced aircraft among some 200 illustrations, most in full color.
Artists include some of the most well-known British artists of their day and the works display imagination and creativity in a variety of different styles and treatments that bring flying machines to life. There are historical scenes and aircraft in their natural environment, showing action and some of the aviators and others from the world of aviation. There is a short history of the Guild and a step-by-step guide to one artist’s approach to the subject.
GUEST REVIEW FROM MARK MAGUIRE
Today I am delighted to be able to hand over my blog again to my husband, Mark, so that he can share with you his review for Flight Through the Ages: A Fiftieth Anniversary Tribute to the Guild of Aviation Artists:
“There is only one word which accurately sums up the content of this book…sumptuous.
Although similarly, the words lavish; evocative, and inspirational are also reflective both of this books’ content, and the sheer creative brilliance which underpins the assembled works and the membership of the Guild of Aviation Artists.
To say that the book ‘is a pleasure to read’ would be an understatement of dramatic proportions. From the first image of the Short Stirlings being ‘bombed up’ on the front cover through to the montage on the rear jacket, I found myself immersed in art work covering almost every aspect of aviation history.
The assembled art works are of an extraordinarily high quality perfectly capturing there subject matter at hand. The assembled images vary in medium, but they range from the optimism and romance of the aviation pioneers; the opulence of pre and post war civilian air travel, the brutality of air warfare in the first and second world wars, culminating in Museums, Gliding and selected self-portraits.
It would seem like an impossible challenge to pick ‘favourites’. However, there were three art works which I found particularly powerful, these being: Replacements; Co-operation, and A Complex Subject. Replacements perfectly captures the spirit of a frontline Royal Flying Corps squadron and the contradictory mass of vulnerability; mechanisation, and pre-war chivalry. Co-operation is a stark portrait of medical assistance during World War 2 between the RAF and USAAF, and A Complex Subject which is the perfect rendering of life as a present day student at No 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford.
This book is highly recommended and it truly is a joy to behold.”