[June 20, 2020] American Legion Magazine in its July 2020 edition, highlights drawings of Ugo Giannini of Trenton, New Jersey. Participating in the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, Ugo was haunted by the memories of that terrible day and found that his art could help his healing. His wife, Maxine, researched Ugo’s journey, traveled to France, talked with veterans, and read after-action reports to fulfill her goal of better knowing her husband. You could see hell in his drawings, she said.
Ugo’s drawings are on display in the Italian American Museum located in Manhattan, New York. A small number are included here. This museum is a real treat. If you are ever in “Little Italy,” the museum is located in a red brick, two-story building on Mulberry St. It’s worth the effort to stop in.
Maxine published Ugo’s artwork in Drawing D-Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War last year. The book is a powerful reflection of the watershed event of the twentieth century. Ugo Giannini landed on Omaha Beach with a platoon of U.S. Army military police. Only six of the 37 men in the platoon made it off the beach.
These are the only known drawings from that historic day. Drawn in pencil and pen, in a gritty, realistic style, the images depict heavily burdened infantrymen trying to stay afloat in seawater, crawling on the beach, and death among the ruins. It portrays the horror of war in a profound and personal way.