Artwork of alumnus Displayed in National Museum

painting
A larger version of Macaulay’s 24" x 24" oil on canvas painting can be found on the F Troop 17th Cavalry website.

Painting captures Vietnam War experience

In September, Angus Macaulay ’66 learned that his painting, “F Troop Gypsies,” had been juried into and accepted by the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum (NVVAM) in Chicago. Included as part of the new fall exhibit, the painting will be placed in the museum’s permanent collection. All of the works in the permanent collection are created and comprised by 125 artists who chronicled their individual experiences from the Vietnam War.

Between September 1967 and September 1968, Macaulay served first as a platoon leader, then as executive officer and finally as Troop Commander of F Troop, 17th Cavalry. According to Macaulay, his troop was an independent company-size unit, which was an organic part of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, operating primarily in the Que Son Valley – Southwest of Da Nang. “Ground cavalry lived liked gypsies in Vietnam, and F Troop was no exception, hence the title, ‘F Troop Gypsies’,” said Macaulay. “And like gypsies we carried as many creature comforts as possible to make our tour as bearable as possible.”

The painting depicts what the typical "track", or A-CAV (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle) in F Troop looked like during a break in operations in the Que Son Valley during the summer of 1968. “Out would come the warm beer and aluminum folding chairs bought in the local villages, and off would come the spare stretchers tied to the side of our vehicles to sack out in during breaks, sleep on at night and of course to evacuate casualties.”

About the artist

A lifelong cartoonist with some painting experience, Macaulay began to paint seriously about eight years ago, and has studied continuously with R. Scott Jackson of Newburyport, Mass., a Master of the Copley Society in Boston.

“Most of my work focuses on Maine-inspired subjects, including landscapes of the North Woods, as well as abandoned farm machinery and trucks,” Macaulay said.

A past member of the Newburyport Artists’ Society, Macaulay is one of only three male members of Maine Women in the Arts, and his work has been juried for membership in the Art Guild of the Kennebunks. He has also participated in numerous shows and displays his work at galleries in both Monson and Greenville, Maine. He had a one man show in Kennebunk, Maine in 2003.

As a veteran and an artist, Macaulay was humbled by the jury’s decision. “As a part-time artist, it is an absolute honor to have my work displayed alongside the works of the other 125 artists – many of whom are professionals – in the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum,” he said.

History of the NVVAM

In 1981, a few Vietnam combat veterans created an artistic and historical collection that would become a timeless, humanistic statement of war on behalf of all veterans for future generations. The exhibit toured the United States and later found a permanent home in Chicago with the help of Mayor Richard M. Daley. Today, the NVVAM is still located in Chicago’s South Loop and houses over 1500 works of art, including paintings, photography, sculpture, poetry and music, produced by both professional artists and semi-professionals.

Macaulay can be reached for comment at macaulay@adelphia.net.