Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Bombardier et mitrailleur (Bomber and Machine Gunner)
  • Maurice Busset
    born: Clermont-Ferrand, France ; died: Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Bombardier et mitrailleur (Bomber and Machine Gunner), 1920
  • Nos Escadrilles Pendant La Grande Guerre (Our Squadrons during the Great War)
  • color woodcut
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 345 x 247 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 480 x 316 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 13 9/16 x 9 3/4 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 18 7/8 x 12 7/16 in
  • Museum purchase: Letha Churchill Walker Memorial Art Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2009.0124.07
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
“Machine in a Void: World War I & the Graphic Arts,” Mar-2010, Steve Goddard
Maurice Busset, who studied art in Paris, began military service as an aerial scout in 1914. After the War he produced several portfolios about aerial warfare. His introductory text to this portfolio states:

Between flights, in the cockpit of the twin motor. Under canvas hangars, winter evenings, under the glow of watchman’s lantern-these images were carved during the turbulent period of the Great War.

A block of cherry or beech, a steel knife, were companions who never abandoned the author in those years when the future no longer existed for the soldier. Without any hope of future publication, he had to prove to himself, that despite the leather jacket of the aviator he was still an artist.

As fate would have it, Busset outlived his comrades and published this book of woodcuts-prints that celebrate flying machines as works of art in their own right. See also the portfolio cover in the nearby case.