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World War II Sketches by Victor A. Lundy at the Library of Congress

This guide provides an overview of Lundy’s eight sketchbooks comprising a "visual diary" created by the architect during his service in World War II, with links to the digitized collection materials and information about related content.

Introduction

Victor A. Lundy wearing military helmet. 1944. Victor A. Lundy Archive, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

"August 25th 1944, there's a sketch which says 'overseas at last,' and since then, I realized we were part of a very significant occasion...this is real.”

Noted architect Victor Alfred Lundy was born in 1923 in New York City. He served in the U.S. 26th Infantry Division during World War II. In 1942, Lundy was 19, studying to be an architect in New York City. Excited about rebuilding Europe post-war, he and other college men enlisted in the Army Special Training Program (ASTP). His visual diaries comprised of 159 pencil drawings in 8 sketchbooks bring to life his wartime experience.

The sketches cover May to November 1944, with some gaps where sketchbooks were lost. The eight surviving sketchbooks are spiral bound and 3 x 5 inches—small enough to fit in a breast pocket. Lundy used black Hardtmuth leads (a drawing pencil) and sketched quickly. "For me, drawing is sort of synonymous with thinking."

After the conclusion of World War II, Lundy completed a degree in architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Winning the prestigious Rotch Traveling Scholarship allowed him to travel abroad. In 1954, Lundy opened an architectural firm in Sarasota, Florida. In 1967, the American Institute of Architects named him a Fellow--one of its highest honors. Lundy moved to Houston, Texas, in the 1970s. Among the notable buildings designed by this master artist-architect are churches with soaring roof lines, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.

Lundy has donated his architectural archive to the Library of Congress, including these World War II sketchbooks presented in 2009.