The Delaware National Guard’s American Illustration Collection was unveiled Dec. 10 at the Delaware Public Archives. The illustrations were published as World War 1 ended, in the Ladies’ Home Journal, from November 1918 through November 1919.
The magazine commissioned Delaware artists Frank E. Schoonover and Gayle Porter Hoskins to create World War I illustrative scenes. The collection was titled, Souvenir Pictures of the Great War. The original paintings used by the magazine were returned to their respective owners.
In the late 1950s, Major Gen. Joseph Scanell, then adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, worked with Delaware State Archives and the Delaware State Portrait Commission to purchase nearly half of the paintings that the Ladies’ Home Journal commissioned.
The paintings moved to various facilities with the Delaware National Guard. In 2000, then Delaware Adjutant General Francis D. Vavala formed the Delaware National Heritage Committee to raise funds for the restoration of the paintings, in conjunction with the preservation of the Delaware National Guard’s other treasures.
This is the first time all 18 paintings in the Delaware National Guard American Illustrative Collection have been professionally exhibited in a public-access venue for all to see and appreciate.