Aviation was in its infancy when World War I was fought. Air combat was unprecedented. There were no old pilots. Flying was high tech, thrilling, and more often than not fatal. Military aviators were a new breed of soldier. This exhibit featuring the paintings of Seattle artist Jim Dietz brings their stories to life.

Wood and Canvas: The WWI Aviation Art of Jim Dietz, developed by Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, includes 38 reproductions of Dietz’s vivid paintings of air combat, aviators and life at the front during the Great War.

Each of the fine art prints on display at the Museum blend Dietz’s mastery of details and storytelling. Together they immerse the viewer into the military aviator’s world, over a century ago, when war first took to the skies.

The exhibition also includes aviation artifacts from the period, and the first public display of recently digitized World War I photographs and other works on paper from the Museum’s collection.

After a successful illustration career in Los Angeles and New York producing work ranging from automobile ads, movie posters, and romantic and historical/action book covers, Dietz moved to Seattle in 1978. His work gradually shifted away from commercial illustration to primarily historical aviation, automotive and military art. Today his work is internationally known and collected, and his style, with its emphasis on depth of story, is recognized by collectors of historical art.

Dietz’s list of clients includes Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Federal Express, Allison, Cessna, Flying Tigers, the Indianapolis 500, BMW, US Air Force Documentary Art Program, the National Guard and many U.S. Army organizations. Dietz has been a member of the World War I Aviation Historical Hall of Fame, an Artist Fellow of the American Society of Aviation Artists and a board member of the Automotive Fine Artists of America.