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About The Artist Historian

DON TROIANI is a soul lost in time; a twenty-first century artist to whom the life of the common soldier of the American Revolution through the Civil War is as familiar and vivid as the surroundings of his Connecticut studio. While there are other painters who have turned their attention to historical art, none have done so with the enthusiasm, insight and historical accuracy of this accomplished recorder of drama and detail.

In the spirit of presenting historical truth through art, Don Troiani has personally set uncompromising standards of excellence and authenticity in his field that few others can equal. Models are chosen with the greatest care to achieve the proper look of the men in Colonial and Victorian America.  The garb and gear of each figure are painstakingly researched.  Period settings are found and researched, sometimes sending the artist hundreds of miles from home to examine battlefields and structures firsthand.  Because of the great amount of research that goes into one of his works, it is often years between a painting's conception and the actual moment the brush is put to canvas.

Indeed, Troiani's lifelong focus on military heritage enables him to present that subject with credibility second to none.  For four decades he has methodically built one of the greatest private artifact collections of Civil War, 1812 and Revolutionary War, World War II uniforms, equipage, insignia and weapons which he calls on to add the unique dimension of realism he is so well known for.  An expert researcher with a personal military library of thousands of volumes, he is assisted in his search for the truth by a select network of advanced collectors, curators and historians whom he corresponds with regularly and who open their own collections and archives to him.

Hollywood has enlisted him as consultant on "Civil War Uniforms and Equipage" for the acclaimed feature film "Cold Mountain" starring Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger and Jude Law for which he received screen credit.  Also in "Cold Mountain , The Journey from book to film."  Troiani has also been military advisor (and made appearances) on all 52 episodes of A&E and History Channel's "Civil War Journal" and the miniseries "The American Revolution".  Television appearances on  "Missing Reward", "Incurable Collector", and "Hunt for Amazing Treasures" are also among his credits.

Because of his extensive knowledge of military artifacts, Troiani is regularly contacted by major museums and collectors from across the country that greatly value his firsthand experience.  He has appraised collections in the Connecticut State Capitol, Connecticut State Library, Atlanta History Center (Atlanta Historical Society), and Confederate Memorial Hall, New Orleans, auction houses and private individuals.  Numerous items from his collection have appeared in the acclaimed Time-Life "Echoes Of Glory" series on the Civil War and countless other publications.  Other of his artifacts have been loaned for the exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, The West Point Museum, Delaware Historical Society, Connecticut Museum of History, Pamplin Historical Park, Virginia Historical Society and the National Park Service Visitors Center in Gettysburg, PA.

Troiani's artwork has appeared on television productions on NBC/Universal , CPTV, CNN, America Online, "The O'Reilly Factor", the A&E, Military and Discovery channels and in uncounted prestigious publications including: “U.S. Department of State”, "The Washington Post",  "The New York Times", " Los Angeles Times", "US News and World Reports", "The Washington Times", "National Geographic", "USA Today", "American Heritage", "American Rifleman", "Civil War Times", “The Arizona Republic", "America's Civil War", "The Hartford Courant", "Southwest Art", "Southern Accents", "The Boston Globe", "Connecticut Magazine", "Smithsonian", "Antiques and Arts Weekly", "Litchfield County Times", "Coin World", "Waterbury Republican American", "Civil War News", "Danbury News Times", “VFW Magazine”,  "The Courier News", “Barnes and Noble Books”, “Sterling Publishing”, "The Gettysburg Times", "America's Civil War", "The Bridgeport Post", "Military History", "Man at Arms", "Numismatist", "The Quarterly Journal of Military History", “Pallasch Magazine (Austria)”, “P.M. Magazine” (Germany), “Publicat” (Poland)   "International Churchill Society", “Militerhistorie” (Norway), "Confederate Veteran", "Art Business News", "North and South Magazine", “Civil War Preservation Trust”, "The Times Picayune", "Warner Brothers Productions",  both publications of the "Daughters/Sons of the American Revolution" and "Antiques Roadshow FYI Magazine".

Troiani has also authored or co-authored "Don Troiani's Civil War", "Soldiers in America 1754-1865", "Military Buttons of the American Revolution", and "Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War", "Don Troiani's American Battles", "Don Troiani's Soldier's of the American Revolution", and "Military Buttons and Accoutrement Plates of the American Revolution"  in addition to numerous articles on military artifacts.  "You can look at a picture of an artifact for days and still not know it. But examining it in your own hands reveals its texture, its substance and how it works," explains Troiani.  Many times he has had costly reproductions of rare or delicate original items hand-crafted so they can be used actively by his models.

Born in New York City in 1949, Troiani's future as a premier interpreter of history seemed pre-destined.  His father, an accomplished commercial artist, encouraged his talented son and kept him supplied with paper, paint and direction.  His mother, a successful antiques dealer, nurtured her son's interest in the past and showed him the importance of having a three-dimensional view of history. By the time he began perfecting his skills at the Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Arts and New York City's Art Students League, his role as a consummate realist was already clear.

Since launching his professional career before the Bicentennial and demonstrating his gift for combining art and historical integrity, there has been a strong, increasing demand for Troiani's work by both distinguished private collectors and important institutions.  His work has been displayed at or is represented in the collections of  the West Point Museum, The Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, GA, American Heritage Magazine, Time-Life Books, Smithsonian Magazine and the Smithsonian's Museum of History and Technology, McGraw-Hill, the National Park Service, Gettysburg National Historical Park, Fort Necessity, Fort Scott, Guilford Court House, Saratoga National Historical Park, Boston National Historical Park, Oneida Indian Nation, Cowpens National Historical Park, St. Martin's Press, Petersburg National Historical Park, Minuteman National Park, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Morristown National Historical Park, U.S. Army War College, U.S. Marine Corps Museum, Pejebscot Historical Society, Brunswick, ME, Fort McHenry National Monument, Command General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, The Charleston Museum, North Carolina Museum of History, Parks of Canada, the Pentagon, U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, the Pennsylvania National Guard, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pamplin Historical Park, U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley Kansas, The Greensboro Historical Museum, War Library and Museum of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S., Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, Mass., the National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg. PA., and the Army Signal Corps Association.

In 1995 he designed the three Civil War battlefield commemorative coins for the United States Mint.  His work has also appeared on a postal card commemorating the 350th anniversary of the U.S. National Guard.  Troiani is also a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award of the United States National Guard.

He has served on the advisory board to the Anne Brown Library, Providence, RI and Civil War Trust.

"His history is filled with action, color and excitement.  It is certainly a valid subject for an artist to pursue as long as it is approached in a thoughtful and thorough way, "Troiani said.  "There has been too much distortion over the years.  I believe the more accurate the presentation is, the clearer our image will be of our heritage.  It is a far better way to honor our ancestors."  With this sense of "mission," Don Troiani will no doubt continue to capture a crucial period in our nation's past with style, emotion and unrivaled accuracy.

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William Britain, W. Britain or simply Britain's, no matter what we are called our name is synonymous with toy soldiers. Since 1893 W. Britain has been producing toy soldiers and military miniatures with attention to detail, quality and authenticity. Each model figure is cast out of metal and hand painted to the highest possible standards. Our ranges include traditional toy style figures in 1/32 scale (54mm / 2.125" tall) and a large selection of realistic matte finished figures in 1/30 scale (58mm / 2.3125" tall). Most major time periods are covered from the eighteenth century up to the conflicts of the twentieth century. Whatever your interest, W. Britain has figures and accessories for your collection!

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