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Art exhibit highlighting Tuskegee Airmen now open

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
An exhibit featuring artwork that highlights the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II is now open at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The exhibit, titled "Red Tails, Silver Wings," features 35 paintings by Chris Hopkins and can be viewed daily during regular museum hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The artwork is displayed in the museum's Hall of Honor, and admission to the museum and the exhibit is free. The exhibit will be open through February 2014.

During World War II, the U.S. military was racially segregated. Reflecting American society and law at the time, most black soldiers and sailors were restricted to labor battalions and other support positions. An experiment in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF), however, showed that given equal opportunity and training, African-Americans could fly in, command and support combat units as well as anyone. The USAAF's black fliers, the so-called "Tuskegee Airmen," served with distinction in combat and directly contributed to the eventual integration of the U.S. armed services, with the U.S. Air Force leading the way.

"This is my personal tribute to those pilots, their family members and support crews who fought a two front battle -- the war abroad against the global threat of Nazism and fascism as well as the domestic battle for dignity, equality and civil rights," Hopkins said.

Hopkins graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., in 1979. He established the Chris Hopkins' Illustration Studio in 1984 and became one of the most sought after illustrators in the country. Later, he began working on commissions of portraits, landscapes and current and historical art. In 2004 Hopkins accepted an invitation to join the Air Force Art Program where he contributes paintings to document events relating to current and historical Air Force operations. To learn more about Hopkins and his Tuskegee Airmen series, please visit

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.