Art Friday: Arthur Mole and John Thomas

The Statue of Liberty (Camp Dodge) - 18,000 men, with 12,000 in the touch alone.  The men at the top are 1/2 mile from the men at the bottom.

Arthur Mole (1889-1983) - born UK, died USA
and John Thomas (USA)

Living art

Firstly I would like to acknowledge the "Encyclopedia Homeschoolica" blog for this find as I had never heard of these men before or seen these photographs. These works are quite remarkable considering when they were taken.  And if you have the time, do check out that blog - heaps of fascinating information contained within.

 Mole and Thomas were commerical artists who became famous for a series of "living photographs" made during World War 1 in which tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists and other members of the defence force participated in to create massive re-creations of such American icons as the Statue of Liberty and The Liberty Bell.  These were imagines that were patriotic and stirring to the American public.

Mole would stand on his 80-feet viewing tower (that's high!) and shout out his instructions on his mega-phone. The preparation for each photo would take weeks as Mole had to determine the number of men he required for each photo and the final perspective at the viewpoint. 

Woodrow Wilson - made up of 21,000 men - you can see the campsite in the distances with this one.  Camp Sherman, Ohio
The Liberty Bell - 25,000 men at Camp Dix
The American Eagle - 12,500 officers, nurses (in white) and men at Camp Gordon
The Human US Shield - 30,000 officials and men at Camp Custar, Battle Creek.
The Living Uncle Sam - 19,000 officers and men at Camp Lee, Virginia

Arthur Mole (source: The Telegraph)
Imagine trying to keep everyone still as the photo was being taken - no digital cameras in those days!!


  1. Yes, just imagine keeping everyone still! Just getting them into position would be a mammoth task. Interesting, Jo.

  2. I never heard of this before! Wow. Amazing!


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