Friday, February 17, 2006

The Art of the H-Bomb

Atomic Blasts Through the Eyes of the Artist:

Operation Crossroads was an atmospheric nuclear weapon test series conducted in the summer of 1946 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The series consisted of two detonations, a low altitude test and a shallow water test. The devices, each with a yield of 21 kilotons, were named shots ABLE and BAKER. A planned third test, a deep underwater detonation, was canceled after the second test.

Unlike all later nuclear tests, the media covered the Crossroads detonations. 131 newspaper, magazine, and radio correspondents from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, and Britain covered the detonations,a large major media event indeed. Three soldier-artists recorded the event artistically, using mostly watercolors. (I'm not sure where the originals are now)

There are about 50 paintings in the US Navy's archive. The whole collection is here.

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