Portraits for the Home Front: The Story of Elizabeth Black

About This Episode


Leaving a promising art career behind, Pittsburgh native Elizabeth Black (1912-1983) joined the American Red Cross at the height of World War II. On special assignment, she sketched hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen throughout Europe and sent the treasured portraits to worried families back home - all across America.

Seventy years later, Black's son uncovered photographs of her sketches, scrapbooks, news clippings and other memorabilia from her forgotten footlocker. Through Black's unforgettable sketches, rare archival images and interviews with the veterans and their families, Portraits for the Home Front: The Story of Elizabeth Black explores Black's lost art career and her distinguished service during World War II. It also captures memorable scenes of amazed families finally receiving the lost portraits, some of which capture loved ones killed in action.