An exhibition of photographs by Peter Boice from his deployment in the Vietnam War from 1969-70 as a photographer for the U.S. Army. His photographs tell a vivid story of searching, suffering, human connection and the glimpses of humanity that shine and endure through the fog of war. Curated by Boulder artist Ian McLaughlin.
Peter Boice grew up in Milwaukee WI. In 1967 he graduated from the University of Arizona. Soon after, draft papers arrived, and in June 1967 he enlisted in the United States Army in order to be assured a non-combat role
After training as a clerk, he was sent to Germany, and through a series of events became a photojournalist.
In February 1969 Peter was reassigned to the information office of the 101st Airbase at Camp Eagle near Hue Phu Bai, Vietnam. The night of his arrival, rockets rained down on the base, blowing up the mess hall and causing many casualties.
In May of 1969, one of the photographers assigned to the 1st Brigade stood up in a firefight and while running to get a medic’s bag was killed by enemy fire. The next day Peter replaced him. Though inexperienced with a 35mm camera, he was given Nikons, told to read the operator manual, and immediately sent out into the countryside. No one in the office offered to train him; he would literally learn under fire.
Many combat missions were blacked out. No news was good news.
When Peter was not ordered out into the field with infantry, he adapted by wandering about northern South Vietnam photographing and befriending the Vietnamese. It was at this time that he began to awaken to a world that transcended the violent overlay of America’s military occupation, and was given access to the beauty and private lives of the Vietnamese people.
This show is dedicated to all those Vietnamese and Americans whose lives were lost or permanently altered, and particularly the Vietnamese children.
Peter lives in Boulder Colorado where he gardens, practices meditation, cooks, and does carpentry projects.