Official WWI Art of the American Expeditionary Forces

Wednesday, August 02, 2017
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Upon entering WW1 the U.S. Government selected 8 artists and commissioned them as Captains to record the war for the public. From Picturing World War I: America's First Official War Artists, 1918-1919:
By spring 1918 the artists were in France, busy at work. Both the American and French high commands gave the artists carte blanche to travel where they would in the war zone and to draw whatever they saw. They took full advantage of their freedom to create images of men, machines, and landscapes from the ports of debarkation to the front lines. Ultimately they produced more than 700 sketches, drawings, and paintings. Their work fell into four broad categories: warscapes, which depicted devastated landscapes and damaged buildings, usually with little or no human presence; soldier life and activities, both at work and at rest behind the lines; military technology and engineering, with particular attention to such novelties as tanks, planes, and motor vehicles, as well as the AEF’s logistical underpinnings; and combat.
These images of saome of their work are from the Smithsonian Institution archives collection:  Official Art from the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. There are more pictures after the jump, and of course many more at the link.