Apalachicola author Jane DuPree Richardson will greet friends and sign copies of her newly-published book, "A Response to War: Violet Oakley's World War II Triptychs" at Downtown Books this Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Fifteen years in the making, the meticulously researched and gorgeously illustrated "A Response to War" examines an overlooked period in the work of a pioneering 20th-century American artist. Oakley painted 24 portable altarpieces which were placed on warships and in military base chapels overseas. They were meant to be set up quickly wherever men were fighting. Those intended for land bases were made of weatherproof plywood. Those meant for ships at sea were constructed of bullet- and fire-proof steel. Oakley's Pre-Raphaelite-like `style reflects the influence of her teacher and mentor, Howard Pyle.
Richardson grew up in Gainesville, Georgia and, after graduating college, joined the U.S. Navy in 1952. She completed officer training and served in the Pentagon and at NATO Command in Norfolk, Virginia. She subsequently married and raised two children, one of whom is local journalist and publisher Kevin Begos. She published "A Women's Diaries Miscellany" and a newsletter on the same subject, and her papers and extensive collection of women's diaries are now archived at the University of Georgia Rare Book Library.
Richardson also worked in historic preservation for many years, in New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. At home in Apalachicola, she now volunteers at the Apalachicola Margaret Key Library and enjoys sitting on her porch with the infamous Basset hound Beau.