As the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA continues its Art + Flight events, they are set to feature the art of WWII veteran, Fredric Arnold. On Oct. 7 Marc and Dana Arnold will present a program about their remarkable father, Fredric Arnold, who was a lifelong artist, World War II fighter pilot, novelist, film actor, and the inventor of the folding aluminum beach chair. Arnold died at age 96 in 2018. Drawing upon their family memories, photos, and documents the Arnolds will describe the life of their dad in loving detail. The 2 p.m. program, An Artist in the Cockpit: The Fantastic Life of Fredric Arnold, is part of the Museum’s Art+Flight project. The presentation is free with Museum membership and included with general admission.
Already a commercial artist at age 20, Fredric Arnold enlisted in the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor and became a P-38 fighter pilot in 1942. He flew 50 missions from North Africa, was shot down, captured and escaped. He returned to art and business after the war, invented the folding aluminum beach chair, wrote a best-selling autobiographic novel, and beginning at age 65 became an actor in over 20 movies. When he was 94 he finished a life-size bronze sculpture honoring the U.S. airmen killed in combat during World War II, Lest We Forget: The Mission.
Image: One of Fredric Arnold’s preliminary sketches for a life-sized bronze sculpture of 12 airmen being briefed before a flight mission during World War II. Image courtesy Marc and Dana Arnold.
Art+Flight: Open through Jan. 7, 2024
Art+Flight is a museum-wide, community-focused celebration connecting the region’s vibrant arts scene with its rich aerospace history. Art+Flight offers three dedicated galleries exhibiting sculptures, paintings, photographs and new media installations. Additionally, murals and sculptures have been added throughout the Museum’s campus. The project’s exhibitions and community events mean to realize our feelings, enhance our perceptions, and remind us of the awe and joy of flight through the materiality of art.