People of the Meuse-Argonne: John Cleaveland

Roses, Cunel, the Argonne, 2017




Even today French locals, other Europeans and Americans find themselves drawn to the Meuse-Argonne region of France.  Once drawn there, many return time and again; often working on multi-year research or preservation projects.  In this irregular series, the Webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.

John Cleaveland is a photorealism artist whose paintings have drawn a lot of attention in the Facebook Group.  From 11 Sept. to 9 Nov. 2018 his series of World War I Landscapes are on display in the Lukasiewicz Gallery of the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Georgia.  Readers in the area are strongly encouraged to visit this exhibit.  To quote from a brochure advertising the exhibit:  “The stunning images that result from Cleaveland’s explorations depict tranquil vistas that belie their tormented histories.”


1)  What are your name, nationality and occupation?

John Cleaveland, United States, Artist


2)  Which languages do you speak, and how fluently do you speak them?

English.  (Webmaster:  Artbrush)


3)  When was your first visit to the Meuse-Argonne?



4)  When did you really find yourself drawn to the Meuse-Argonne?



5)  What is your primary interest in the region?

History, landscapes


6)  Approximately how many times and/or how often do you visit the Meuse-Argonne?

Three times.  4th visit will be in Nov. 2018.


7)  What do you do when you visit?

Walk and photograph landscapes.


8)  What research or preservation projects are you working on currently?

Open-ended series of landscape paintings based on the battles of 1918.


La Croix Rouge Farm, the Marne, 42nd Div. Memorial, 2016



9)  What research or preservation projects have you completed in the past?

Over the past 20 years, a series of paintings based on American battlefields.


10)  What is your favorite spot in the Meuse-Argonne, and why?

Town of Cunel


11)  History aside, what is our favorite thing to do in the Meuse-Argonne?

Wandering aimlessly, walking and getting acquainted with the small towns.


12)  Schedule permitting, would you consider being a tour guide for individuals or groups traveling to the sector?



13)  How can readers contact you for assistance or for more details?

706-614-9024.  [email protected].  Facebook:  John Cleaveland.  Instagram:  Johncleaveland.


14)  Any other comments?



John Cleaveland’s Studio