On Saturday, the Museum unveiled a collection of dioramas by the late Thomas A. “Tommy” Osborn. The dioramas depict soldiers and scenes from World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. They were donated to the museum by Osborn’s family.
“We are proud and honored to have this display here,” says Gary Parker, a tour guide at the museum. “Tommy was an accomplished artist and these are his works of art. We are proud to display them now to the public.”
The three-dimensional pieces show a great attention to detail from such a small scale, The dioramas now on display took months of research and work due to the intricate details of uniforms, equipment and ground work.
“This was a hobby for him,” says Osborn’s widow Stephanie. “He used this hobby to help him with his PTSD, and it did work great for that, for him. He used to teach other people how to paint, so they got into painting military miniatures also.”
Osborn’s dioramas join over 30,000 artifacts from the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the War On Terror. Exhibits range from uniforms, weapons, field gear and personal items. Among the highlights are a door taken from a prison cell at the Dachau Concentration Camp and a seventeen and a half foot scale model of the battleship USS West Virginia, which was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Raleigh County Veterans Museum is located at 1557 Harper Road in Beckley and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm now through Veterans Day. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/Raleighcountyvetsmuseum/