Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Upcoming Exhibition

BEHIND THE WIRE
The War Time Diary and Art of Robert Buckham

opens November 2007


On a bombing raid over Germany on April 8, 1943 Captain Robert Buckham and the crew of his Wellington Mk.III bomber were downed near Dusseldorf. Miraculously, the entire crew survived. Buckham was eventually captured and imprisoned in the infamous prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany. In his elaborately illustrated war time diaries, Buckham recorded his internment, the trials of day to day existence, the failed “great escape” popularized by the Hollywood movie and his eventual forced march to freedom through one of Europes coldest winters.

Buckham hid his treasured books in old milk cans in order to preserve them during the three months he and over 10,000 other POWs endured a forced march in the dead of winter westward through Germany in front of the Russian advance. Those that survived were eventually liberated and in 1945 Buckham returned to Canada to resume his career as an illustrator and artist. His drawings of Canada’s countryside and cityscapes graced the pages of the Globe and Mail for many years. His art was inspired by nature and local landscapes as well as frequent travels to Mexico and France.

Many of Buckham’s original war drawings are now included in the collections of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The exhibition includes Buckham’s original diary and journal together with illustrations and art he produced after the war.

Credit: Illustration by Robert Buckham. Courtesy of Nancy Buckham.

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