SHARE
Surprising Photographic Sculptures

IN 1917, THE UNITED STATES would enter World War I. It was a time of great confusion and unrest. In order to bolster national support, Arthur Mole, John Thomas, E.O. Goldbeck, and others created a series of elaborate photographs.

These pieces displayed signs of “living insignia”, in attempts to recover national identity. And they were made up of military formations of tens of thousands of strategically-dressed soldiers, reservists and other military members.

Look closely, and you can see the 30,000 soldiers that form this.

Human Shield Conceptual Photography // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Here’s a close-up shot to give you a better view.

Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Arthur Mole was notably famous for these “living photographs”.

Conceptual Photography : Uncle-Sam // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

His partner during the project was John D. Thomas.

Conceptual Photography : Woodrow Wilson // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

It took them a week of preparation…

Conceptual Photography : Machine Gun Insignia & American Eagle // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

And hours to actually position the formations.

Conceptual Photography : 34th Division // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Because of the extreme numbers…

Conceptual Photography : American Eagle // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

They had to rely on lines of perspective over a hundred meters.

Conceptual Photography : The US Marines // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Mole would stand on his viewing tower…

Conceptual Photography : 27th Division Insignia // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

… and shout into a megaphone.

Conceptual Photography : Statue Of Liberty // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Or use a long white flag to arrange everyone into position.

Conceptual Photography : American Flag // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

The Liberty Bell required 25,000 people to form.

Conceptual Photography : Liberty Bell // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

Conceptual Photography : Hawaiian Division // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : 1st Division // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : 11th Division // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : Air Training // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : Artillery Brigade // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : University Of Pittsburgh // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures Conceptual Photography : 209th Engineers // Vintage US Army Photos, With Photographs Made Up Of People Sculptures

These living photographs are certainly incredible, and would doubtless inspire millions during times of war. The amount of planning and effort required to make just a single one of these is equally amazing.