EAA AirVenture Museum
Who is She?Undergoing restoration in 1999, Mystery Lady was the second piece restored by conservator Richard Trela and metallurgist David Trela. Working inch by inch, they delicately cleaned the painting. Then, in a painstakingly slow process, conservators reattached each flaking paint chip.Over the years, Mystery Lady lost paint like many of the other nose art paintings. In areas without the original paint, the conservators in-painted, or filled the void, with a slightly different shade. In-painting helps the viewer see the artist's intent while preserving the original work. In a final step, conservators applied a protective coating to prevent future oxidation of the paint and the nose section.
Affectionately named Mystery Lady by Airpower Museum staff, this untitled portrait is one of the more artistically well-executed pieces in the collection.Based on her uniform, several theories seek to explain her identity. One theory says it is Jacqueline Cochran, the founder of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). A second says it portrays General Spaatz's daughter Katherine, who joined the Red Cross in England. A third theory suggests she was a Russian pilot. None of the theories can be fully supported, suggesting that her mystery artist may have taken creative license.
National Aviation Hall of Fame: Cochran, Jacqueline
Wikipedia: Jackie Cochran
More than 30 pieces of nose art from actual World War II combat aircraft made their first-ever trip outside their home museum, with the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh chosen as the first public display location for this rare collection.Commemorative Air Force Headquarters
The collection from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, made its debut in November 2015 after a month of preparation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the people and aircraft of World War II. The artifacts have been designated by the National Trust for Historical Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, which seeks to preserve historic structures, art, and published works throughout the nation. It will be on display at EAA throughout 2017.
Click here for more information about the collection and to view all nose art photographed.
paint, conservators heat each flake
and reattach it with Acryloid B-72,
a protective bonding agent.
Click here for more information about the collection
and to view all nose art photographed.