In 1944 a US Army battalion loaded with artists was sent to Europe with rubber tanks and phony artillery. Their mission was to divert the enemy. From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (aka The Ghost Army) conjured up phony convoys, illusionary divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Every move they made was top-secret, and their story was hushed up for four decades.
Along with their gear, they also packed sketchbooks, paints, pens and ink. Between missions they painted and sketched a world at war.
Beginning April 13, a new exhibit at the Hopper House brings together much of the original art created by the members of this unique unit, many of whom went on to have illustrious post-war art careers.
Two of the veterans – William Sayles and Ned Harris –live here in Rockland. Many others are scattered around the country and have lent their works for this landmark exhibit. The estate of Bill Blass loaned his wartime sketch book. On the cover you can see where Blass sketched the logo for what would become his fashion empire.
There will be an opening reception for “Artists of Deception: The Ghost Army,” on Saturday, April 13 – 5-7p at the Edward Hopper House Art Center, 82 North Broadway, Nyack NY. Also, come see a special screening of the PBS film, “The Ghost Army,” at The Nyack Center on May 26.
Artists in the exhibit:
- Artists of Deception – Ghost Army Art Exhibit from Rick Beyer on Vimeo.
- Ghost Army To Land In New City, 4/19/2011
- Got a Dollar? Help Produce A Film, 6/24/2011