Remembering Those Lost in the Orly Plane Crash of 1962

By Chloe King, MCMA Intern 2021

Figure, David Cogland (1936-1962), 1960, serigraph, donated by Eugene B. Okarma [2020.007.002]

 

            With the arrival of June, we are reminded of a tragic incident that occurred 59 years ago on June 3rd of 1962. A moment in Atlanta’s history was marked on this day as a plane meant to return from the Orly Airport in Paris experienced technical failure before even leaving the ground. 113 of the people who perished were known in our community as Atlanta art patrons and contributors. MCMA aims to acknowledge this loss within the art community so that the contributions of those who passed are not forgotten.

            David Cogland (1936-1962) was one of the artists lost in the tragedy. He is specifically remembered by MCMA because the Museum houses one of his serigraph prints entitled Figure in our permanent collection (accession number 2020.007.002/FS2001.012). This print shows the artist’s skill in abstraction through the silk screen printing process. Bold marks of neutral tones are used to loosely construct a figurative composition. These thick lines and shapes are accompanied by the sporadic scattering of a lighter neutral tone as well as specks of red and green. The layering of ink in the piece emphasizes the artist’s successful skill of abstraction.

David Cogland was predominantly an abstract painter who found himself moved to share his passion through art therapy. He was known to travel by bus to Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, GA to give art instruction to patients, all without asking compensation. He worked with those in the mental hospital as well as those in the prison section of the facility in an attempt to bring the joy and light of self-expression to a community often plagued by darkness. Sadly, Cogland faced his untimely death at the age of 26 and MCMA remembers the late artist with a celebration of his artwork in our collection.

Sources Used:

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/ajc-archives-atlanta-arts-patrons-die-1962-paris-plane-crash/7h5pQ6sYWOvxrkkOGph7OM/

https://www.askart.com/artist/William_David_Cogland/11189188/William_David_Cogland.aspx