Join us at Hub City Bookshop to learn about lesser known figures from WWI and WWII! Perfect for history fans!
Champions of Flight celebrates the work of Clayton Joseph Knight (1891–1969) and William John Heaslip (1898–1970), the two preeminent American aviation artists of their time, as they chronicled the golden age of aviation—from Charles Lindbergh's epochal transatlantic flight through the most devastating war in world history (1927–1945). Knight and Heaslip were experienced military men and formally trained artists who, combining an authenticity of experience and an artistic mastery of illustration, produced powerful artwork that influenced a generation of Americans, creating air-minded adults and youngsters, many of whom flocked to US military service after Pearl Harbor.
Aviation became deeply embedded into America’s culture during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Americans became fascinated by aviation celebrities, watched air spectacles, aviation movies and newsreels, and devoured books, aviation industry ads, magazine articles, and Sunday comics featuring pilot heroes. Artists Knight and Heaslip—both of whom were adept as draftsmen, painters and printmakers—fueled the imagination of these Americans through prolific illustrations and artwork that appeared in many diverse publications of the time. Over a period of almost twenty years, Clayton Knight and William Heaslip championed their love of flight through their art, and they did so with enthusiasm, integrity, and generosity. This book, featuring over 400 illustrations and photos, is a tribute to their legacy.
Sheryl Fiegel is an art historian with a BA degree in Art History from Mary Baldwin College and an MA degree in Fine Arts (Art History) from Tufts University. She has had a varied career, including gallerist, fine art appraiser (ASA), independent curator and corporate art advisor. She served as head of the Air Force Art Collection during which time she organized a five-day multi-service tribute to honor the combat artists who served in uniform during WWII. This was done under the auspices of the 50th Anniversary of WWII Commemoration Committee. It was through her research on this project that Fiegel first came into contact with the work of Clayton Knight and William Heaslip. Her husband John is a retired Air Force officer, and her late father-in-law was the commanding officer of the 93rd Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force during WWII. Her collection of fine art prints from WWII was recently donated to Texas A&M University in College Station. It will be exhibited in its entirety in 2025 to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the end of WWII.