The Gallery features a selection of authentic World War II Aviation Nose ArtTM . The nose art collection consists of panels cut from the forward position, or “noses” of WWII bomber aircraft fuselages containing the artistic impressions of young men at war.
This art is presented as it was originally created. Please be advised before viewing this art was created in 1940s. The style of art references pin-up girls, which were extremely popular at the time.
Fans of vintage nose art can thank an Arkansas man named Minot Pratt for saving these works of art from the scrap heap. Pratt was a manager at the junkyard in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, where thousands of aircraft were sent to be cut up and disassembled after the war’s end. He liked the hand-painted pinup girls featured on the planes, and he instructed his workmen to remove them before destroying the aircraft. The metal scraps adorned with pinup girls were stored in a barn until the mid-1960s, when they were donated to the CAF.
The panels were on display in a hangar at the CAF’s prior location for many years and were starting to degrade over time. Professional conservators used cutting-edge technology to analyze the panels, make structural improvements to the metal, and faithfully restore some of the paintings. With generous donations and sponsorships, the workers were able to preserve the entire collection for the enjoyment of visitors today.