Camp Dix Art Centre - 1918

The Camp Dix Art Centre.

The Camp Dix Art Centre. Character Building, 1918, p. 12. GGA Image ID # 1ceba23e7d

An interior scene of YMCA Hut No. 10 located in the Base Hospital section of Camp Dix. This one is altogether different from any other building in camp.

Here David Robinson and Howard  Heath, two artists prominent in New York art circles, are painting a real map of Europe. This so-called Hut is made charming by well-balanced interior decorations—as someone said, “It is a barn de luxe.”

Exclusive of the Hostess Houses and one or two other places, everything made by man or nature in camp is severely plain. Barracks, and then more of them, all just alike in their barny appearance, erected for temporary use of a highly utilitarian purpose, is no place for the artist in war times.

The first built YMCA huts, and indeed all other buildings in camp were seemingly erected for a day and then to vanish like the “Great White City.” The Base Hospital YMCA is different—a place where one may enjoy a warmth of material surroundings plus the geniality of good companionship, music and entertainment.

The work of the YMCA among the ill and convalescing of a Base Hospital with beds is for those who possess in their hearts a deep sympathy for the suffering and weak. It is a trying position, but one of great service, possibly not equaled in any other branch of camp welfare work.

Visiting the sick, writing letters home, giving a word of good cheer and being a “man’s man” are only a few features of the work. Art may be seldom seen in a war-time camp, but the recreation center of the Hospital is certainly the ideal place for the touch of pleasant surroundings.

However, this is a starter. Big plans are afoot by General Scott to make Camp Dix of the future a joy to the aesthetic eye in so far as the transformation is possible. We have won the war; now enjoy the blessings of peace.

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