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World War II sketch artist's work highlights Flag Day program

Mary Pickels
| Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 2:09 p.m.
American Red Cross girl, Elizabeth Black has sketched hundreds of GIs in Britain.  She travels with a Red Cross Clubmobile in the field.  At home, she became famous for her pastels of children.  Every soldier's picture is mailed home for him.  'I love this work,' she said, 'and I dont mind how many critics look on.'
Margaret Karch Zaimes/American Red Cross
American Red Cross girl, Elizabeth Black has sketched hundreds of GIs in Britain. She travels with a Red Cross Clubmobile in the field. At home, she became famous for her pastels of children. Every soldier's picture is mailed home for him. 'I love this work,' she said, 'and I dont mind how many critics look on.'
This portrait of William Stacy Porter, by the late World  War II soldier sketch artist Elizabeth Black, hangs in the Connellsville Canteen.
Submitted
This portrait of William Stacy Porter, by the late World War II soldier sketch artist Elizabeth Black, hangs in the Connellsville Canteen.
95-year-old Mary Louise Weller Chapman in Berkeley, Calif., with the portrait Elizabeth Black did of her during World War II
WQED
95-year-old Mary Louise Weller Chapman in Berkeley, Calif., with the portrait Elizabeth Black did of her during World War II

Women whose fathers' portraits were sketched by the late Elizabeth Black during World War II and screenings of two documentaries on Black, a member of the local Red Cross Clubmobile brigade, will be part of a special Flag Day celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. June 14 at the Mount Pleasant Public Library.

The library's Friends group is arranging “World War II Soldiers' Sketches: Lost then Found.” Advance registration is required, and the $5 donation includes dessert and beverages, a news release notes.

Black, a Pittsburgh native, sketched more than 1,000 charcoal portraits of soldiers throughout Europe during World War II. Her family found 100 additional original portraits after her death.

Two speakers who were touched by Black's work will talk briefly, and the Friends will show two documentaries on Black and how these sketches were eventually returned to the soldiers' families.

Judy Browell, of Connellsville, will talk about her father's portrait, which now hangs in the Connellsville Canteen.

Linda Blackburn, of Scottdale, will discuss being one of the lucky “found” family members who received her father's portrait long after his death.

“Elizabeth was a volunteer and felt she could do something meaningful for the American soldiers,” Blackburn says in the release.

“Some of the soldiers had been killed prior to the family members getting the pictures and it meant so much to them. I think this should be in the Smithsonian,” she adds.

Details: 724-547-3850 or email mountpleasant@WLNonline.org

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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