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Engineers Go to War

Posted on Thu, April 6, 2017
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Although the assignment of the eight AEF artists to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was purely a formality, they found the many and varied activities of this branch of the AEF interesting subject matter. The industrial scale of the military effort demanded an enormous technical and logistical presence. Tens of thousands of men served loading, unloading, stockpiling, moving, and maintaining the tons of war materiel sent to France in support of the combat troops.

Soldier in profile walking with rifle in hand.

The Engineer
Harvey Thomas Dunn
Watercolor and charcoal on paper, 1918

Ships at dock.

Unloading Ship at Bassen Docks
William James Aylward
Charcoal and gouache on paper, 1919

Busy shipping dock.

The Docks at Brest
Walter Jack Duncan
Pen and ink wash on paper, July 21, 1918

Wagons carrying supplies.

American Troops Supply Train
William James Aylward
Oil and gouache on paper, 1918

Black and white drawing of women working.

Tressing Nets for Artillery Emplacements
Ernest Clifford Peixotto
Pen and ink wash, and charcoal on paper, 1918

Open air factory.

At the Camouflage Factory in Dijon
J. André Smith
Watercolor, charcoal, and pastel on paper, June 1918

Soldiers at work on a supply vehicle.

Roadside Repair Station, Chateau Thierry
Harry Everett Townsend
Charcoal on paper, 1918


The AEF WWI war art collection currently is held by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Division of Armed Forces History, from which the artworks in this exhibition are on loan.

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