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Italian POW Artists in Texas

During WWII, Texas provided the US government nearly 70 base and branch prisoner of war camps. One such camp, located in Hereford, Texas, housed Italian POWs captured by Allied forces in North Africa. Several imprisoned Italian officers possessed considerable artistic talents, which they employed in nearby Umbarger to beautify St. Mary’s Catholic Church. In this video, the artistic works of Italian POWs are explored by way of personal accounts of Umbarger residents who knew the POW artists and maintained lifelong friendships with them following the end of the war.

The Texas Historical Commission's Heritage Tourism Program produced this video for inclusion in the Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app in the World War II on the Texas Home Front tour, and for use on the Texas Historical Commission's social media channels.

  • Texas Historical Commission Heritage Tourism Program
  • Clara Vick
    Key Cast
  • Geraldine Gerber
    Key Cast
  • Ormalene Artho
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation. The Heritage Tourism Program operates within the THC's Community Heritage Development Division, and develops and promotes tourism to heritage sites across the state as a means of protection and economic development.

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Director Statement

As part of our statewide heritage tourism promotional efforts, the THC’s Heritage Tourism Program developed Texas Time Travel Tours: a mobile app that contains 7 statewide tours, guiding heritage travelers to historic sites and locations and enriching those sites with digital interpretive content. When possible, each historically themed mobile tour includes a series of documentary style, short videos that feature heritage stake holders who lived through significant historic events related to sites and locations included in the tour. As owners of Texas history, heritage stake holders provide travelers first person accounts of events that shaped the heritage and culture of the Lone Star State.

The THC Heritage Tourism Program also shares these videos online via the THC’s social media channels. Communities statewide receive these videos with enthusiasm and pride, and the videos count among the THC’s most widely re-shared online content. It is in response to this success that the THC’s Heritage Tourism Program aims to share our videos with broader audiences at film festivals state and nationwide.

To learn more about the app, view a web version, or to download the app to your mobile device, please visit: http://texastimetravel.com/get-guides