Alfred P. Maurice WWII Envelopes

Alfred P. Maurice was born in New Hampshire in March 1921.  He began his art career as a Muralist for National Youth Administration while in junior high school and continued to find ways to make creating art a part of his work life. As his lifelong art career unfolded, he was an Instructor and Administrator of the various Art Programs at  Michigan State, Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, State University of New York at New Paltz, New York and the University of Illinois, Chicago.

During World War II, Mr. Maurice served between 1944 and 1946. To pass the time he drew on most any available paper and soon was known for his abilities. One of his jobs in the Army Air Force was to illustrate technical manuals. He would often sell drawings to his fellow servicemen to make a little extra money to send home. Early on, Mr. Maurice created a cartoon character, Herman (pronounced, Hoy-man), who became is alter ego in his playful illustrations of life in the military.

This exhibit is a sub-set of the Alfred P Maurice WWII Drawings Collection. It consists of drawings on envelopes sent to his fiancée, Dolores Robson, near the end of his service in the Armed Forces of World War II. Herman’s adventures documented on the envelopes fall into four categories titled: Camp Life, Inspections and Keeping Busy, Capturing Iwo Jima, and All I Want is to Go Home! In an interview while reviewing each envelope drawing, Mr. Maurice added explanations the descriptions of each.

Letters written to his wife (then fiancée) during his time in service from 1944-1946 are available in Digital Commons @ WOU. Some of the letters have additional information about the images the collection of drawings in this exhibit. 


Scanning and text by Kalea Borling, WOU Archives Student. Text edited by Hannah Hardcastle, WOU Student Employee.