Women in World War I -- Anna Coleman Ladd
Anna Coleman Ladd
Anna Coleman Ladd, born in Philadelphia in 1878, was a well-known sculptor in the city of Boston by the outbreak of World War I. Like many other American women who dedicated much of their time to supporting the war effort, Ladd worked with the Red Cross. In her work with the Red Cross, Ladd put her artistic talents to great use—she founded the Studio for Portrait Masks in Paris, where she and a group of dedicated helpers created prosthetic masks for soldiers whose faces were disfigured in combat.
The new military technology of the war, particularly that of artillery and machine guns, unfortunately made facial disfigurement ever more commonplace. Ladd and her studio utilized their artistic talents to create realistic facial reconstruction masks for the soldiers. They first took casts of the soldiers' entire faces, from which they produced a mask of a thin sheet of galvanized copper. Ladd then painstakingly painted the metal likeness with hard enamel that had a flesh-colored tone. Ladd painted the mask while the soldier was wearing it and used real hair to create the eyebrows, eyelashes, and mustaches. Each mask took about one month to produce. The completed masks were often held on by spectacles, as shown in the photos below.
The objects showcased in this section are held by the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. They highlight some of Ladd's work, with before and after images of soldiers and their facial reconstruction casts.
"WWI soldier facial reconstruction documentation photograph," ca. 1918, Anna Coleman Ladd Papers, circa 1881-1950, Archives of American Art, JPEG file, http://www.aaa.si.edu/assets/images/laddanna/reference/AAA_laddanna_21978.jpg (accessed April 30, 2015).
- Physical Description
- Lockheed "Hudson" dive bombing U-570; text block at bottom. Relief Halftone/Screen print.
- Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection
- Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."
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- The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.
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- Chromoworks Ltd.
- Royal Australian Air Force
- W. Krogman
- Inventory Number
- Data Source
- National Air and Space Museum