Last Jan. 1, Slate.com offered this charming New Years greeting – a 96-year-old water colour of a holiday season snow ball fight between American soldiers as they prepared to depart for the First World War. Painted Dec. 28, 1917 on the first page of a letter home, the piece was the work of Pvt. Salvatore Cillis, a 25-year-old Italian-born American soldier attached to the U.S. Army’s 306th Field Artillery. At the time, the unit was stationed at Camp Upton on Long Island awaiting orders to head to France. A Manhattan sign painter in peacetime, the young artists sent a number of paintings and sketches to his family during his time in uniform. The works represent Cillis’ own light-hearted take on the war and army life. A collection of his work now belongs to the New York Historical Society Museum and Library. To read more about Cillis and to see his paintings and sketches, click here.
NOTE: Happy 2014, everyone! I hope you all had a nice holiday. I’m working on another article as we speak, but likely won’t be fully back at it until later in the week.