Forty-six soldiers serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War performed unusual roles as Combat Artists. Don R.Schol was one. Following his tour in Vietnam and his separation from the Army, he accepted a teaching position in 1969 at the College of Art and Design at the University of North Texas in Denton. Focusing primarily on photography, drawing, and sculpture, Schol also directed his artistic skills toward relief printmaking.
The art works Schol completed as a Combat Artist reside in the U.S. Army Art Collection administered by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Four decades later, however, Schol turned again his artistic attention toward the Vietnam war, creating a suite of 16 woodblock prints. A 2011 interview with Schol explores his role as a combat artist and related subsequent events. Schol first exhibited (2010) this suite of prints, Vietnam Remembrances, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, NM for 3,000 veterans attending a re-dedication of that Memorial. Schol donated to the AP/RC his Vietnam Remembrances suite as well as all of the wood blocks for this body of work. This suite was published as a book, War Cuts, by Stephen F. Austin University Press.
Working frequently in series, Schol recently completed Arrangements, 2014, a self-conscious turn away from the anxious memories of his Vietnam prints. Schol’s geometric compositions, as he noted in a 2014 interview, were “started [by] drawing shapes that were inspired by listening to jazz. I focused on non-recognizable shapes. One image lead (sic) to another and 33 prints later I have this new body of work. I must admit that I broke my own rule and started playing with tool shapes in an abstract arrangement. They are a part of this body of work as well.”
Schol’s donation to the AP/RC includes a rich array of more than 350 relief prints, both wood and linoleum, print matrices, and the drawings used to develop his compositions.