Time magazine recently featured the work of SAIC alum Tom Lea (SAIC 1924–26) in a piece titled “A Painter’s View of World War II.” Lea passed away in 2001, leaving behind a legacy as an illustrator, artist, and war correspondent. During his lifetime, he painted and drew illustrations of conflicts during World War II for Life magazine. Lea’s work is currently on view at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The exhibition features 26 pieces by Lea, and explores the little-known history of war and conflict painting.
Lea took his first illustration assignment for Life in 1941. Throughout his time as a war correspondent, he traveled to the North Atlantic and South Pacific, where in 1944, he witnessed and painted the bloody United States invasion of Peleliu.