The Ghost Army

May 01, 2011 —October 15, 2011

The Historical Society of Rockland County Presents

The Ghost Army
 ... Or How a Bunch of Artists Used Deception,
and Ingenuity to Help Win World War II

When: May 1October 16, 2011
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE for HSRC members; $7/adults; $3/children under 12

In the early 1940s, the military recruited aspiring artists from art schools along the East Coast and trained them in the art of camouflage and deception. They became the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. Their mission: to deceive and divert the enemy. They were sent to Europe with rubber tanks and phony artillery.

They secretly brought along their sketchbooks. While impersonating many different Army units, they also painted and sketched their way across wartorn Europe from England to Normandy, Paris, and Luxembourg and into Germany. Their story is one of smoke and mirrors, while their artwork offers a unique insight into what Europe looked during the war.

After the war, many of the Ghost Army veterans went on to make names for themselves. Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelley, Arthur Singer, Arthur Shilstone, John Masey, Art Kane and Victor Dowd all had been members of the Ghost Army. Two of the veterans who went on to have successful careers in the arts settled in Rockland County, NY, and are being honored along with all the Ghost Army veterans with this landmark exhibition.

Sneak previews of the documentary film about the Ghost Army being made by co-curator Rick Beyer, will be shown continuously during the exhibit, which is also being curated by Elizabeth Sayles, daughter of tje Ghost Army veteran Bill Sayles.

For further information about the Ghost Army Legacy Project, visit


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