In early 1918, eight artists—one of whom was South Dakota’s own Harvey Dunn—were selected as the U.S. government’s first official combat artists. These eight men were tasked with depicting scenes from the front lines in France. Their images were to serve as historical records and as propaganda, but the story of what happened to their artwork proves more complex, ultimately revealing how the government believed that art could be a powerful weapon during the Great War.
South Dakota native Ranelle Knight-Lueth, an Assistant Professor of Art History and the Director of Galleries and Collections at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will present Harvey Dunn and the World War I Combat Artists at the Old Courthouse Museum. Admission is free.