Timothy W. Jahn
Remains of Valor
Oil on panel
20 x 24 inches
Remains of Valor
is a survey of war technology. I have always been fascinated by humanity’s creativity and ingenuity when faced with the uncertainty of war. I selected the Roman helmet with the scull in it to represent both the repercussions of war as well as the transitory nature of a dominant world super power.
The telephone is from WWII; which I believe is the EE-8-B model. The pigeon skeleton represents the carrier pigeon used through WWI. The pigeons and the telephone share a commonalty in the they both can be used for innocuous information as well as delivering messages that determine the fate of men. The medal on the base of the pigeon skeleton represents the homing pigeons of WWI like the story of Cher Ami as told on Wikipedia.
Cher Ami (French for "dear friend", in the masculine) was a registered Black Check Cock homing pigeon which had been donated by the pigeon fanciers of Britain for use by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I and had been trained by American pigeoneers. It helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. On October 3, 1918, Charles Whittlesey and more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill behind enemy lines without food or ammunition and were fired upon from allied troops who did not know their location. Whittlesey dispatched messages by pigeon. The pigeon carrying the first message ("Many wounded. We cannot evacuate.") was shot down. A second bird was sent with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" That pigeon also was shot down. Only one homing pigeon was left: 'Cher Ami'. He was dispatched with a note in a canister on his left leg, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven's sake, stop it!”.
As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire. Cher Ami was eventually shot down but miraculously managed to take flight again. In this last mission, Cher Ami delivered the message despite having been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood and with a leg hanging only by a tendon.
Cher Ami became the hero of the 77th Infantry Division. Upon return to America, Cher Ami became the mascot of the Department of Service. The pigeon was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal with a palm Oak Leaf Cluster for his heroic service in delivering 12 important messages in Verdun. He died at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, on June 13, 1919 from the wounds he received in battle and was later inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931.
The books are military manuals/journals form the Pacific Theater and Korean War that once belonged to a family member. Its amazing how honest journal entries are when faced with extremely perilous situations. The bag in the background on the right and the gas mask are Soviet issue cold war technology. War just gets more dangerous and less personal as time goes by. Today we are moving into an era of drone technology that is taking the act of war closer to a video game separating the shooter form the target. The toy cannon and red child's magic ball were selected while I was contemplating the repercussions of war fought as a game.
It was a great privilege to honor my many family members that fought for our country and the great men and woman of the armed services. The whole experience of creating this work somehow brought me closer to my loved ones and enhanced my appreciation for all those who have served.
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City
Ani Art Academy Waichulis’ Capturing Realism 2011
, The Pauly Friedman Art Gallery, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA, October 29 - December 10, 2011. This exhibit featured the collaborated works of more than 40 artists representing Ani Art Academies, Jahn Studios and The Studio of Joel Carson Jones.