BLUEFIELD – Photographs taken during WWII, photos of happy brides, photos of underground coal miners focused on their work, and aerial photos of local towns and landmarks showcase the life of a local photographer who has recorded life in southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia and beyond.
An exhibit titled “Through the Eyes of Melvin Grubb” opened Monday in the Paine Gallery at the Bluefield Arts Center. This exhibition will continue at the gallery until August 16. An artists reception will be held Thursday at the Paine Gallery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The photographs of the late Mel Grubb regularly appeared on the front page of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. He was known to have flown his plane from the Mercer County Airport and photographed everything from natural wonders like East River Mountain near Bluefield and Burkes Garden in Tazewell County, Va., To local disasters, such as derailments. railroad and major sporting events such as the beaver. -Graham football game. One wall of the exhibition features aerial photographs of surface coal mines and miners working deep underground.
Many photographs from the exhibit won awards in competitions, said Becky Kaufman of the Eastern Regional Coal Archives, which sponsors the exhibit, during her announcement.
Another wall is covered with photographs Grubb took, and of himself, while serving in the South Pacific during World War II. One shows young Mel Grubb holding a monkey. During a 2017 exhibition of his war photos at the Museum of Those Serving the War in Princeton, he said he liked to say, “I’m the one on the right.
Other wartime photographs show everything from an artillery piece dubbed “Wind of Death” to photos of South Sea Islanders, planes such as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the Vought F4 U Corsair and the B-17 Bomber, and snapshots of everyday life in The Grubb Camps.
The Paine Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Bluefield Arts Center is located at 500 Bland Street in downtown Bluefield.
– Contact Gregory Jordan to [email protected]