Sunday, September 13, 2015

Loren Russell Fisher (1913-1987)

Loren Russell Fisher was born on March 16, 1913, in Needham, Johnson County, Indiana. He was the son of a blacksmith and became a sculptor, combat artist, draftsman, illustrator, photographer, and painter. Fisher attended the Fort Wayne School of Art and the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis under a full scholarship.  He graduated from Herron in 1940 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. That same year he was awarded a Jacob H. Lazarus Fellowship in the amount of $4,000 for study at the American Academy in Rome. The prize, provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was for sculpture. Unfortunately for the young artist, war was on in Europe, and so travel to Rome was out of the question. Instead, Fisher teamed up with classmates Floyd Hopper and Frank Engle to construct a seven-by-five foot flatbed trailer with a canvas top, built out of pieces from a junkyard and designed to be towed by Fisher's brand new Chevrolet. The three men set off on an 18,000-mile journey around the North American continent, eventually to Mexico to study art.

Before the two-year term of Fisher's fellowship was up, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. As an officer in the Combat Art Section of the Corps of Engineers, Fisher led a company of mapmakers and topographical engineers in Europe, the Philippines, the East Indies, Southeast Asia, and the China-Burma-India Theater of operations. Fisher was also in Japan after the surrender, which took place seventy years ago this month. Fisher went to work as an illustrator for Boeing after the war, but he also kept up with his interests in sculpture and painting, winning prizes for each from the Brevard (Florida) Art Association in 1949.

Loren R. Fisher moved from Alexandria, Virginia, to Melbourne, Florida, in 1956. In addition to being an artist, he was also a yachtsman. He died on May 17, 1987, presumably in Melbourne. Fisher was seventy-four years old.

Supply Line in Kunming China by Loren Russell Fisher from Joint Force Quarterly, Summer 1996.

Text copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley