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JOHN C. HATLEM (1907-2007) naive marine painting of a coastal schooner by noted Maine artist
Oil on thick board, 14" by 18", unframed, signed at lower right by Maine artist JOHN C. HATLEM (1907-2007). This is a painting of "The Victory Chimes", a schooner with four sails, evidently plying the waters of coastal Maine. The painting has a naive feel yet there is some find drawing of the rigging, for example. On the reverse is stamed "John C. Hatlem/Lt. Col USAF Ret., his address at the time in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the original asking price ($300) and a phone number. I couldn't find a listing for Hatlem but through the wonders of google, found a 2007 obituary which summarized his life story. Essentially, Hatlem was best known for his distinguished military career, notably including important contributions to the documentation of World War II battle grounds in photographs---one work published as early as 1951, bearing the title "The War Against Germany and Italy---Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas". It was only later in life, from 1967 on, that Hatlem became locally known in Maine as a talented painter. This little work is testament to his skills in that department. Condition: the board is warped, perhaps from old moisture exposure, and it could use a cleaning, and of course a frame. Hatlem's obituary, taken from the Boothbay Harbor newspaper, September 2007: "Lt. Col. John C. Hatlem, USAF, Ret., 100, of East Boothbay, and formerly of the Washington. D.C. area, died Monday, September 24, at the Gregory Wing of St. Andrews Village in Boothbay Harbor after a brief illness. Mr. Hatlem was born August 5, 1907 in Mandal, Norway, the son of Alfred Ludolf and Olga Alvilda Haraldstad Hatlem, and attended schools in Norway and Medford Mass., where his family resided when alternating between countries. Having an interest in photography, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended the Army's Signal Corp's School in Ft. Monmouth, N.J., and other schools of photography within the service, including the Army War College in Washington, DC., working in the photo lab. He left the service to work for several noted architectural photographers in New York City, including F.S. Lincoln and Wendell MacRae, taking pictures for some of their assignments. On December 8, 1941, he was brought back to active duty in military intelligence, where he served in Africa and Italy. One of his tasks was serving as courier for General Eisenhower, and he couriered the plans for D-Day from Norfolk Va. to Morocco, where he transferred them to another courier to complete the trip to Ireland. Immediately after the war, he became head photographer in the Army's Historical Division, making picture books to record the historical record of the Army's campaigns of World War II. In the 1950s he transferred to the U.S. Air Force, where he participated in the filming of atomic weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean and in Albuquerque, N.M. Retiring in 1961, he soon moved to Ocean Point in 1967, where he pursued painting. He became a well known local artist, selling and giving away his artwork and winning juried art shows at the Brick House Museum. He received many commendations for his military service, including the Legion of Merit, Military Merit, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African & Middle East Service Medal, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award. He was a member of the YMCA Coastal Club and the Boothbay Region Historical Society, and enjoyed photography, painting and was an avid reader. Mr. Hatlem is predeceased by his wife Sigrid Olsen Hatlem, who died in 1982. Survivors include his son, John H. Hatlem of Kensington, Md.; and a sister, Lilian H. Kristiansen of Mandel, Norway. Services will be at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are entrusted to Simmons Harrington and Hall Funeral Home in Boothbay."
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