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Committing his Memoires to Canvas

Heroes Remember

Committing his Memoires to Canvas

I did one painting, I suppose, within a couple of months of my being home and I still have it, of course, I really don’t show it but it’s just a small painting 16 x 20 or something. And it’s sort of a mockery painting. It shows a dark hill, it’s a night painting, everything was at night. And here’s this fellow, you can see his head and shoulders, he’s silhouetted against the night sky so he’s darker against the dark blue of the sky and the stars are out. And there’s a bit of what used to be broken barbwire because they would blow our barbwire apart as soon as we put it up. This fellow is silhouetted against the sky. You would never build your weapon slit in such a way that you didn’t have the hill behind you so that you disappeared against the darkness of the hill. But I have painted this fellow on purpose in a stupid position on top of the hill because that’s the way you felt. So it was about ten years went by before I decided to commit my memoirs to canvas and that’s what I called my Kraft dinner period. I built a studio outside of Kingston. It’s about thirty miles out of town out on White Fish Lake. I took advantage of that Veterans Affairs building program which doesn’t exist anymore but you got a so-called low interest loan,19%, anyway, those days and I built myself a home studio and then committed myself to painting my Korean memoirs so the next three or four years that’s all I did. I bought the best paint but I ate Kraft dinner. The war museum heard that someone had done this. They never did, they being the government, never did send a war artist to the Korean War. Nothing at all. And I understand the motion picture documentation and still photography was lost in 1959 in a government building fire in Montreal so there’s next to nothing. So anyway, I was called by the war museum and they said, “We hear something to the effect that you have been doing a series of paintings on the Korean War, you’re a Veteran.” I said, “Yes.” To make a long story short an industrialist purchased them with the understanding they would end up at the war museum so he donated them. So over night, I think there were twelve at that time.I have since done three more. The war museum have purchased those from me. So they have fifteen paintings on the Korean War, the official war art of Korea.

Years after the Korean War, Mr. Zuber shares the story of how his memoires became a part of the Canadian War Museum.

Edward "Ted" Zuber

Mr. Edward “Ted” Zuber was born October 16, 1932 in Montreal, Quebec. As a child, he was born with the gift of painting. Although not enthralled with school, Mr. Zuber did graduate and then went on to Queens University (Fine Arts). When the Korean War broke out in 1950, he was adamant to enlist and serve his country. He became a parachutist with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. Arriving in Korea in 1952, he took on the role of sniper spending much of his time on the front lines. During this time, Mr. Zuber produced many drawings and, upon returning to Canada, presented thirteen of his canvas collections to the Canadian War Museum. Presently known as the unofficial war artist for Korea, Mr. Zuber’s paintings have become very popular. His painting “Freeze” has been unveiled in honour of the 65th Anniversary of the Korean War. Mr. Zuber has great pride in his service during the Korean War and is honoured to have been recognized for his artwork. Present day, Mr. Zuber finds himself in his studio continuing to paint the images of his wartime experiences, images that never seem to go away. Mr. Zuber resides in Kingston, Ontario with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 23, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Edward "Ted" Zuber
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal Canadian Regiment

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