Art: Ash Cans & Nudes

Washington, D.C.'s stiff, white marble National Gallery this week blazed with Army flags. The museum was host to a Special Services Division's show of 214 soldier art works chosen from some 9,000 specimens sent in from nine service commands. The result was a vast roll call of brave artistic tries—much that was derivative, much that was halting, some that was more than competent. Most of the works were produced in scant off-hours.

The exhibits ranged from a sketch of a row of ash cans to voluptuous nudes, from academic watercolors to trick photographs like that of a G.I. being menaced by a...

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