Photo by: The Worx Group
|--DON TROIANI is a soul lost in time; a twentieth century artist to whom the life of the common soldier of the Civil War through the mid Eighteenth Century is as familiar and vivid as the surroundings of his Connecticut studio. While there are many other painters who have turned their attention to historical art, none have done so with the enthusiasm, insight and dedication of this accomplished recorder of drama and detail.
In the spirit of presenting historical truth through art, Don Troiani has
personally set uncompromising standards of excellence and authenticity in his field that few others can equal. Models are chosen with the greatest care to achieve the proper look of the men in mid-Victorian America. The garb and gear of each figure are painstakingly researched. Appropriate backgrounds are found and studied, sometimes sending the artist hundreds of miles from home to examine battlefields and structures firsthand. Because of the great amount of research that goes into one of his works, it is often years between a painting's conception and the actual moment the brush is put to canvas.
"If an historical painting is not reasonably accurate, then it's worthless
both as art and as a historical document," Troiani declares. "If you are
going to become involved in this field then there is little excuse for a
pattern of inaccuracies."
Indeed, Troiani's lifelong focus on America's military heritage enables him
to present that subject with a credibility that surpasses his contemporaries. For a quarter century he has methodically built one of the great private reference collections of Civil War, 1812 and Revolutionary War uniforms, equipage, insignia and weapons which he calls on to add the unique dimension of realism he is so well known for. An expert researcher with a personal Civil War library of over 2,000 volumes, he is assisted in his search for the truth by a select network of advanced collectors, curators and historians whom he corresponds with regularly and who open their own collections to him.
Hollywood has enlisted him as consultant on "Civil War Uniforms and Equipage" for the acclaimed feature film "Cold Mountain" starring Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger and Jude Law for which he received screen credit. Also in "Cold Mountain, The Journey from book to film." Troiani has also been military advisor(and made appearances) on the A&E and History Channel's "Civil Journal" and the miniseries "The American Revolution". Televison appearances on "Missing Reward","Incurable Collector", and "Hunt for Amazing Treasures" are among his credits.
Because of his extensive knowledge of military artifacts, Troiani is
regularly contacted by major museums and collectors from across the country who greatly value his firsthand experience.He has appraised the battle flags in the Connecticut State Capitol and artifacts in the Connecticut State Library. Numerous items from his collection have appeared in the acclaimed Time-Life "Echoes Of Glory" series on the Civil War and Salamander's "Fighting Men Of The Civil War" Series and countless other publications. Other of his artifacts have been loaned for the exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, Delaware Historical Society, Connecticut Museum of History,Pamplin Park, The West Point Museum, Virginia Historical Society and the National Park Service Visitors Center in Gettysburg, PA.
Troiani's artwork has appeared on television productions on NBC,CPTV,CNN, America Online,the A&E and Discovery channels and in uncounted prestigious publications including:"The Washington Post", "The Washington Times","US News and World Reports","American Heritage", "American Rifleman", "Civil War Times"," Los Angeles Times", "The Arizona Republic","America's Civil War", "USA Today", "The Hartford Courant", "Southwest Art", "Southern Accents", "The Boston Globe", "Connecticut Magazine","The New York Times", "Smithsonian","Antiques and Arts Weekly","Litchfield County Times","Coin World","Waterbury Republican American","Civil War News","Danbury News Times","The Courier News","The Gettysburg Times","America's Civil War","The Bridgeport Post","Military History","Man at Arms","Numismatist","The Quarterly Journal of Military
History","International Churchill Society", "Confederate Veteran","Art
Business News","North and South Magazine",and "The Times Picayune".
Troiani has also authored or co-authored "Don Troiani's Civil War", "Soldiers in America 1754-1865","Military Buttons of the American Revolution", and "Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War",in addition to numerous articles on military artifacts.
"You can look at a picture of an artifact for days and still not know it. But
examining it in your own hands reveals its texture, its substance and how it works," explains Troiani. Many times he has had costly reproductions of rare or delicate original items hand-crafted so they can be used actively by his models.
Born in New York City in 1949, Troiani's future as a premier interpreter of history seemed pre-destined. His father, an accomplished commercial artist, encouraged his talented son and kept him supplied with paper, paint and direction. His mother, a successful antiques dealer, nurtured her son's interest in the past and showed him the importance of having a three-dimensional view of history. By the time he began perfecting his skills at the Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Arts and New York City's Art Students League, his role as a consummate realist was already clear.
Since launching his professional career before the Bicentennial and
demonstrating his gift for combining art and historical integrity, there has
been a strong, increasing demand for Troiani's work by both distinguished
private collectors and important institutions. His work is represented in the collections of American Heritage Magazine, Time-Life Books, The Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, Ga.,Smithsonian Magazine and the Smithsonian's Museum of History and Technology, McGraw-Hill, the National Park Service, Gettysburg NHP, Ft. Necessity NHP, Ft. Scott NHP, Guilford Court House NHP, Saratoga NHP, Boston NHP, Cowpens NHP,St. Martins Press, Petersburg NHP, Morristown NHP, U.S. Army War College, U.S. Marine Corps Museum, Pejebscot Historical Society, Brunswick, ME, Command General Staff
College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS,The Charleston Museum,North Carolina Museum of History, Parks of Canada, the Pentagon, U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, the Pennsylvania National Guard, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, West Point Museum, Pamplin Park, U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley Kansas,The Greensboro Historical Museum, War Library and Museum of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S., Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, Mass., and the National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg. PA.
In 1995 he designed the three Civil War battlefield commemorative coins for the United States Mint.His work has also appeared on a U.S. postal card commemorating the 350th anniversary of the U.S. National Guard. Troiani is also a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award of the United States National Guard.
He has served on the advisory board to the Anne Brown Library, Providence, RI and Civil War Trust.
"America's history is filled with action, color and excitement. It is
certainly a valid subject for an artist to pursue as long as it is approached
in a thoughtful and thorough way," Troiani said. "There has been too much distortion over the years. I believe the more accurate the presentation is, the clearer our image will be of our heritage. It is a far better way to honor our ancestors." With this sense of "mission," Don Troiani will no doubt continue to capture a crucial period in our nation's past with style, emotion and unrivaled accuracy.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT DON TROIANI (Excerps):
"Don Troiani is unquestionably the finest military artist in America today."
Michael J. Winey, Former curator, US Army Military History Institute
"His work is a benchmark toward which others in the genre can only aspire". Robert K. Krick, Confederate Historian and author ,: "Lees
Colonel's", "Jackson at Cedar Mountain" and other books.
"Alone among the current generation of artists, he combines drama and
convincing realism with a painstaking attention to detail and historical
accuracy." Les Jensen, Former Curator, Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. United States Center of Military History.
"The in depth and meticulous research by Don Troiani and his associates
insure that the officers and men are life-like and the scene, the
uniforms,and arms are as accurate."Edwin C. Bearss, Former Chief Historian, National Park Service, author of: "Forrest at Brices Cross Roads","The Vicksburg Campaign" and many others.
"His work has set a new standard of excellence, of which future generations may well regard as Rembrandts of American Military art." Wiley Sword, author, Shiloh Bloody April", "Embrace an Angry Wind".
"In the modern world of military art he has no peer."
Earl J. Coates, curator and noted Civil war uniform authority, Co-
author "Civil War Small Arms," Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil war".
"In the field of artistic interpretation of the American Civil War, I know of
NO ONE who has ever excelled Don Troiani, either in terms of accuracy of equipage displayed, the historical setting, or the rendition of characters he poses." Howard Michael Madaus, Former curator, Milwaukee Public Museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and the National Museum of the Civil War at Harrisburg, Pa. Author of "Battleflags of the Army of the Tennessee," "Rebel Flags Afloat" to name a few.
"His meticulous research and impressive attention to detail, combined with extraordinary talent and feel for the era, has consistantly enabled him to produce works of both outstanding accuracy and character." William A. Frassanito, author: "Gettysburg a Journey in Time", "Antietam,:The
Photographic Legacy of Americas Bloodiest Day","Grant and Lee: The Virginia Campaigns, 1864-1865."
"His prodigious research shows through and his attention to even the smallest details is without equal;he ranks with Gilbert Gaul and Edwin Forbes in accuracy and emotion -and those artists were there!
Peter C. Jorgensen,Editor, "The Artilleryman," "Civil War News"
"I consider Don Troiani one of the outstanding military artists of this
century. His attention to detail has seldom ever been equalled."Mark Elrod , Author:"Civil War Era Musical Instruments & Military Bands"
"Historians and lay people alike can be assured that accuracy and attention to detail art always the watchwords in his artworks."
Roy H. Marcot, Author "Spencer Repeating Firearms," "Chief of Sharpshooters, Hiram Berdan"
"I have found Don Troiani's work to be a unique blend of action and
authenticity." Michael J. McAfee, Curator and author:
"American Military Equipage," "Zouaves, The First and the Bravest."
"Don Troiani combines outstanding artistic skill with an uncompromising
standard of authenticity." A. Wilson Greene: Author and former Exc. Director, Association for Preservation of Civil War Sites, Director Pamplin Park.
"Don Troiani has created a remarkable body of Civil war-related work that places him solidly in the first rank of artists in this field."
Gary A. Gallagher, Author: "Stephen Dodson Ramseur," "Lee's Gallant General"
"Don Troiani stands alone.No other artist of this century so captures in his
paintings the compelling incidents and individuals of the Civil War than Mr. Troiani." Jeffry D. Wert, Author: "From Winchester to Cedar Creek," "Mosby's Rangers," "Longstreet"
"Don Troiani stands alone among Civil War artists. He is able to portray the period because he understands the period." Juanita Leish, Author and Textile Historian: "Who Wore What?" "An Introduction to Civil War Civilians"
"In the highly competitive field of Civil War art, Don Troiani consistently
demonstrates an excellence for accuracy, drama, and detail."
Dr. James Robertson, Jr. Author and Historian: "Stonewall Jackson, the Man, the Soldier, the Legend"
"There are many pretenders to the title, however in reality Don Troiani
stands alone as the premier Civil War artist of the 20th Century."
Jack E. Ingram, Professional Historian and Museum Curator
"No other modern artist has been able to capture the immediacy, historical accuracy and detail of a Civil Wae moment as does Don Troiani." Dean S. Thomas, author/publisher: "Round Ball to Rimfire, a History of Civil War Small Arms Ammunition," and numerous other books
"Don Troiani's portrayal of Hartranft's 51st PA taking the bridge at Antietam is certainly the most accurate depiction ever!"
Al Gambone, Author: "Major-General John Frederick Hartranft: Citizen Soldier and Pennsylvania Statesman"
"A must for those who appreciate the Civil War and work that transcends
period art to stand with the works of other contemporary American artists." Robert J. Younger, Publisher, Morningside Bookshop, Dayton, Ohio
"Don Troiani is one of the very few artists today that can ally the greatest
possible accuracy with stirring compositions worthy of the great classical
military artists of the last century." Rene Chartrand, former curator/author Parks Canada: "French Soldier in Colonial America"
Copyright 2004 Hidden River Art