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The inscription of art work on military planes dates to World War I, when paintings were usually extravagant company or unit insignia. WWII would become the golden age of aircraft artistry. Artwork was typically painted on the nose of the plane, and the term " nose art " was coined.
Nose art is a decorative painting or design on the fuselage of an aircraftusually on the front fuselage. While begun for practical reasons of identifying friendly units, the practice evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death. The appeal, in part, came from nose art not being officially approved, even when the regulations against it were not enforced.
Did you know that decorating airplanes with artwork goes back earlier than WWII? Ever since men went to war they have felt the need to personalize their aircraft with unofficial and personal markings. The first recorded example of nose art is said to have been an Italian flying boat in it had a sea monster painted on the nose.
Here is an unprecendented collection of the unique art that graced military aircraft in World War II and the Korean War. Applied by amateurs or professional artists like Vargas and Brinkman, the art typically featured alluring women whose charms belied the deadly cargo the crew hoped to deliver to its targets. Hundreds of examples are shown in a combination of archival photos from the wars and current photos of artwork in museum collections.
This art style, referred to as "nose art," commonly featured scantily clad women, caricatures and other edgy themes. Copies of original nose art have been reproduced. The copies are on aluminum panels resembling original nose sections of B's, one of WW II's most famous bombers.
Vintage aircraft nose art is an art form that is related to the classic pinup art of the s. This tradition was begun around World War I and has decorated many aircraft since. The first nose art was believed to be a sea monster that was painted on an Italian craft in During World War I, German ground crews painted mouths under the propeller spinners and the practice was taken up by other militaries.
While begun for practical reasons of identifying friendly units it evolved to express the individuality often constrained by the uniformity of the military, to evoke memories of home and peacetime life, and as a kind of psychological protection against the stresses of war and the probability of death. The appeal came from nose art not being officially approved, even when the regulations against it were not enforced. Nose art is largely a military tradition, but civilian airliners operated by the Virgin Group feature "Virgin Girls" on the nose as part of their livery. In a broad sense, the tail art of several airlines such as the Eskimo of Alaska Airlines, can be called "nose art", as are the markings of U.