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Merv Corning, B-17G “Square J’s at Farmlingham” Limited Edition Litho Numbered Print Signed by Artist
This is a great Offset Lithography taken from the original watercolor painting. A highly collected edition with a very low number 7. It is signed and numbered in pencil at the bottom, “7/1000 M Corning.” This was created in tribute to the men of the 390th bomb group. The lithograph measures 18 inches tall by 34 inches wide. In a oak frame it measures 19 inches tall by 35-1/4 inches wide. On the verso is the print document that tells about this prints limited edition.
The B-17G is powered by four 1,200-horsepower Wright Cyclone Model R-1820-97 engines. These engines are nine cylinder, radial, air-cooled type with a 16:9 gear ratio. The propellers are three-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers, 11 feet, 7 inches in diameter. WEIGHTS Basic Empty Weight 34,000 lbs. Gross Weight (Wartime) 65,500 lbs. Fuel & Range - B-17G Operational use - 2810 US gallons giving a range of about 2000 miles. Ferrying - 3630 US gallons giving a range of about 3,400 miles (two tanks, each carrying 410 US gallons, added to bomb bay. Typical B-17G consumption on a mission to targets in the Leipzig area of Eastern Germany - 2200 US gallons, flying time 7 hours 55 minutes. WING SPAN 103 feet, 9 inches LENGTH 74 feet, 4 inches HEIGHT 19 feet, 1 inch SERVICE CEILING 35,600 feet ARMAMENT Thirteen Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine guns. Fire rate approximately 13 rounds per second. No gun on a B-17 carried more than one minute's supply of ammunition. BOMB LOAD Depending on types of bombs, maximum normal load could go to 8,000 lbs. If B-17 was fitted with special external racks, maximum normal short-range bomb load could go as high as 17,600 lbs. Maximum 300 mph. at 30,000 ft. Maximum continuous 263 mph. at 25,000 ft. Cruising speed 170 mph. Landing 74 mph. Rate of Climb 37 minutes to 20,000 ft. (parhamairfieldmuseum)
In addition to the 43 watercolors of heroic WWI pilots and planes Merv Corning originally painted for Leach International (now a subsidiary of Esterline Corporation), Corning is equally well known for his portraits of players commissioned by the National Football League. As recently as 2003, he was presented the R. G. Smith Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida. Corning is currently creating the final watercolor in Esterline’s Heritage of the Air series. That collection, along with a special display on “Merv Corning and the Artist’s Process,” will be exhibited at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, opening February 2, 2006. Mervin Allen Corning, born June 16, 1926, in Santa Ana, California, joined the Merchant Marines at age 17 and remained in that service until the end of World War II. Though he had been drawing since childhood, he began his career as an illustrator for Kleer, a Bay Area drug company chain. In less than two years, Corning worked as an art director for L.C. Cole, a prominent San Francisco advertising agency. In 1949, he became the men’s fashion artist for the Broadway Department Stores in Los Angeles. In 1953 Corning’s versatility led him to Studio Artist Inc., a professional group of artists committed to providing a complete art service for advertising agencies and their clients, which included TWA, Lockheed, Ford-Mercury, Sunkist and North American. Starting as an illustrator, he became a partner and eventually president of the corporation. It was during his tenure at Studio Artist that Leach International commissioned Corning to paint the Heritage of the Air series of WWI watercolors. What started as a set of four paintings to be used in a Leach ad campaign with Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine became, due to their enormous popularity, a series of 45 paintings that spanned a decade, from 1959 to 1970. (Since that time, two more of Corning’s paintings have been added to the collection.) In 1965 Corning began a long association with the Automobile Club of Southern California, creating some 16 covers for their Westways magazine. The NFL first contacted Corning in 1966-67 for watercolor illustration work; their relationship would span 30 years, with Corning becoming the official National Football League Super Bowl artist in 1977. In 1968 Corning had his first one-man show at the Nut Tree Gallery in Vacaville, California. Merv Corning retired from Studio Artist in 1969, devoting his time exclusively to fine art painting and commissions. His work has been extensively shown and collected worldwide: the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, the U.S. Air Force Museum and Archives, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Royal Air Force Museum in England, the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the Football Hall of Fame, as well as a great number of galleries across the country. Corning is the recipient of many awards, including “ The Dillon Lauritzen Memorial Award” (1975) from the Art Director’s Club of Los Angeles for the best painting of the year, “Artist of the West Gold Medal Award” (1989) from the American Indian and Cowboy Artists and the previously mentioned “R.G. Smith Award for Excellence in Aviation Art” (2003) from the National Museum of Aviation Art. More than 65 publications, such as Life, Time, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, American Artist, Aviation, Aviation Heritage and Aviation History, have reproduced Merv Corning’s artwork. His exploration of other art forms led to his handmade aircraft lithographs, which were published by Circle Fine Art Corporation. (esterline)
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