Wings of History: World War II Aviation Art of John D. Shaw

Wings of History: World War II Aviation Art of John D. Shaw

Karshan Center of Graphic Art
Open October 14, 2023 through January 21, 2024


Military Aviation artist John Shaw features America’s heroes of the Air in WWII through his dramatic paintings. Since the early 90s, Shaw has worked firsthand with many living veterans, seeking their input for the compositions of his work, with the goal of depicting their experiences with historical accuracy and keeping their legacies alive. An internationally recognized aviation artist, some of Shaw’s original oil paintings are in the collection of past presidents, the Pentagon, military museums, and private collectors, and prints of many of these scenes have become some of the most sought-after limited editions of their types. This exhibit features custom-embellished canvas reproductions of many of Shaw’s World War II scenes, arranged chronologically from 1941 through the war’s end in 1945.

Image Credit: Task Force 50 to Rabaul by John Shaw. 

John Shaw’s most recent painting, entitled Task Force 50 to Rabaul, depicts a snapshot in time from the November 11, 1943 battle at sea in which massive Japanese forces launched an attack against a US Navy Carrier task force operating in the Solomon Islands of the central Pacific. Inspired by the written descriptions of Navy fighter pilots from squadron VF-17 “Jolly Rogers”, the scene depicts American Hellcat & Corsair fighters downing Japanese torpedo bombers through a hail of anti-aircraft fire as they made their low-level run on the USS Bunker Hill. 

2024 Exhibit Sponsors
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.