Korea: Brushes with War

Korean War vet Ted Zuber overcame shell shock to become Canada’s official artist of the Gulf War.

Written by Nelle Oosterom

May 19, 2010

Man looking at camera with palette and paint brush in hand and a painted canvas behind him.

When the Korean War erupted, Canada didn’t send an official artist to the conflict. Luckily, it had already had one there, in the personage of Royal Canadian Regiment sniper Edward “Ted” Zuber.

Born in Montreal, Zuber studied art at École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, and constantly carried a sketchbook with him on the frontlines in Korea.

Involved in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, he returned to Canada determined to transform his sketches into vivid paintings depicting both raging battles and scenes of everyday life on the front lines.

His work came to the attention of the Canadian War Museum, which eventually purchased thirteen paintings that now hang proudly in the museum’s collection. Roughly forty years later, Zuber was chosen in 1991 from a field of thirty candidates to become the official Canadian war artist of the Gulf War. He completed hundreds of sketches, and ten major paintings which were purchased by the Department of National Defence.

Zuber continues to paint today, and is the only Canadian to hold both the Korean War medal and the Gulf War medal.

Help keep Canada’s stories strong and free

The importance of understanding ourselves by examining our history is an anchoring belief of Canada's History Society. We highlight our nation’s diverse past by telling stories that illuminate the people, places, and events that unite us as Canadians, and by making those stories accessible to everyone through our free online content.

Canada’s History is a registered charity that depends on contributions from readers like you to ensure students and citizens of all ages can continue being inspired and informed by our country’s fascinating stories. Please donate to Canada’s History today. Thank you!

View more of Ted Zuber's work on his website ZuberFineArt.com.

Skip social share links

Related to Arts, Culture & Society