Lewis Eugene Thompson, portrait artist
When I was ten years old, I tagged along with my sister to a kids' art class not far from our home in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Thompson had 4 or 5 of us in the group: my older sister, my cousin, her brother and I seem to remember 1 or 2 other kids. It wasn't much of a class, as far as teaching went, but it was fun. We took pictures we wanted to copy (I painted Bambi) and he showed us how to use Prang watercolors and pastels. He was a very kind man and a fine artist. This was the only art class I had prior to taking up watercolor painting 27 years later.
I understood that Thompson's portrait of Winston Churchill hung at 10 Downing Street for awhile and I think his portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt was honored, as well. In addition, during the time we took from him, about a year and a half, he painted portraits of several war aces, such as Major Bong and Captain Don Gentile.
Mr. Thompson played Santa Claus for our family twice, when our youngest sister was still a "believer."
His work is displayed at March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California. His interesting career is detailed on the Web site. To my knowledge, none of his work is exhibited at the Air Force Museum here in Dayton, where he worked for so many years. Several years ago I asked a volunteer at the museum and no one there had heard of Lewis Eugene Thompson.