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Finding Elizabeth's Soldiers

WQED first told her story in "Portraits for the Home Front." Now the legacy of Elizabeth Black continues in a new documentary.

This sequel explores efforts to find homes for dozens of soldiers’ sketches found among the Pittsburgh artist’s memorabilia. Through detailed searches, detective work and the kindness of volunteer genealogists and other researchers, WQED is working to find the soldiers or their survivors.

From Philadelphia to San Francisco and points in between, this travelogue features encounters with amazed and appreciative families.

This Emmy® winning production is from producer David Solomon, photographers/editors Pierina Morelli and Paul Ruggieri, and graphic design by Paula Zetter.



Elizabeth Black left a promising Pittsburgh art career to join American Red Cross efforts during World War II. She proposed a unique project to sketch hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen throughout Europe and send the treasured portraits to worried families back home - all across America.

Seventy years later, Black’s son uncovered her fascinating memorabilia and shared it with WQED. The poignant story unfolds as we explore Black’s lost art career, seek out elderly veterans who encountered Miss Black on the battlefield, and present to amazed and appreciative families portraits that never arrived.

Portraits for the Home Front is brought to you by WQED's Emmy® winning team of producer/writer David Solomon and photographer/editor Paul Ruggieri, with narration by Michael Bartley.

American Public Television is proud to make these WQED documentaries available to public television stations nationwide.


Elizabeth Black's family discovered copies of about 100 portraits in her collection. WQED is working to find the surviving veterans or descendants who might be interested in these keepsake portraits drawn by Elizabeth during WW2. Please share this page with veterans organizations or others who might help WQED connect these sketches with appreciative families. The gallery is a work in progress. Watch for new portraits and corrected info as we receive it.


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  • WQED first told her story in "Portraits for the Home Front." Now the legacy of Elizabeth Black continues in a new documentary.