|The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, 1807, Jacques-Louis David|
|Napoleon in his Study, 1812,|
In this country, even thought he propaganda purposes themselves were masked, the U.S. Army, in WW I for instance, had a core of eight commissioned captains assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers who did nothing but follow the war and report back on canvas. After the war, their work went to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. With the advent of WW II, the Corps of Engineers established a War Art Unit in 1942 governed by the War Art Advisory Committee which selected military and civilian artists to serve in the unit. Not unlike the WPA artists programs during the Depression, by early 1943, there were 42 artists at work, 23 from the active military and 19 civilians. Most worked in the Pacific Theater. However, when Congress heard about this modest undertaking, they self-righteously cut the funding for such "foolishness" in such a dire time of war.
|WW II artists, 1942, Fort Belvoir, Virginia|