New Hoover Institution Stories Feature The Battalion Artist

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Sketch by Nat Bellantoni, 1943. Natale Bellantoni Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

 Nat Bellantoni drawing Cathedral Square at his desk, by Edwin Keegan, 1944.
Nat Bellantoni drawing Cathedral Square at his desk, by Edwin Keegan, 1944. Natale Bellantoni Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

In remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives is pleased to present a new series of HI Stories in the online exhibition, The Battalion Artist: A Sailor’s Journey Through the South Pacific. Visitors will embark with Natale Bellantoni, a gifted artist and member of the US Navy Seabees, on his wartime journey through a collection of digitally immersive stories. Within each story, Bellantoni’s personal experiences in the Pacific theater, and the role the Seabees played in winning the war, are illuminated through newly digitized sketches, paintings, correspondence, and photographs from the Natale Bellantoni papers. Contributing to the growing documentation on the vital contributions of the Seabees to the American war effort, The Battalion Artist is also a deeply personal look at a young man’s life interrupted by war.

The Hoover Institution Stories, or HI Stories, emerge from the collections of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives and the fellows, staff, and researchers who study them. They are an assortment of digital experiences intended to spark curiosity and discovery in some of the most important material on war, revolution, and peace of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.