Firearms typically get a bad wrap from the artistic community. Artists are generally more left-wing than the general population and it’s widely accepted that the second amendment is a right-wing issue.
This dichotomy unfortunately leads to a lot of negative portrayals of firearms in mainstream artistic expression, which forgets the rich culture of craftsmanship and artistry that accompanies the history of 1911 firearms.
It’s easy for someone who has never handled a gun or even seen one up close to write them off as being something fringe or something that only crazies can appreciate, but the firearms industry is actually full of artistry that few people recognize today and that is quite sad. If you look at many of the rifles of the 18th and 19th centuries, many of them are quite literally works of art. This isn’t solely for their elegant mechanical functionality, which is a piece of art in and of itself, but many firearms from this time period have beautiful engravings throughout the entire gun.
Some have full landscape depictions of nature, waterfowl, or a father and his son. As I’ve said, this artistry is really quite amazing and it continues right on into the present day.
Most modern day rifles or 1911 grips that you would buy at a sporting goods store won’t be sporting any ornate pieces of art on them, but why should we expect them to? We don’t see sporting goods stores selling pieces of art; they are consumer driven by the masses preferences, but this doesn’t mean that artistry in the firearms industry has disappeared.
In order to see some of the most beautiful artwork you have ever seen, look no further than the many custom 1911 grips available for one of America’s most popular handguns. As pictures above, these are ornate works of art that should be able to be appreciated by anyone and everyone.
In fact, the business behind making custom compact grips for 1911 guns is so large that some wood engravers make a full-time living just from selling the grips to this single handgun. Now imagine what the full firearm industry must look like.
The wooden stocks that appear on larger rifles and shotguns are often dressed with ornate engravings that turn them into original works of art. Even if an artist tried to recreate some of these pieces of a work, he wouldn’t be able to. They truly are originals.
This entire concept might sounds foreign to a lot of people, but it only does so because of their lack of understanding of history. You see, for many hundreds of years, a firearm was a centerpiece in a home. It held significance, purpose, and meaning. Not only would it serve for protection but also for sustenance. As a child would grow into an adult, the father would show them how to safely and properly use it, clean it, and store it.
Many families would even have a decoration firearm on the hearth, which is where much of the art would come into play. They would be decorated, carved, engraved, and inlayed to perfection to be shown off as pieces of art, which is what they were.
It’s time we start looking past our canvas papers to see the art around us. Art is everyone, even places artists don’t always look.