Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 20, 2013.

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A two month exhibit of original WWII art by the soldier/artists of The Ghost Army coming to the Edward Hopper House Art Center.

Imagine a group of GI’s who help win World War II with inflatable tanks, sound effects, and impersonation. Now imagine that many of them are artists, who never stop painting and sketching and drawing as they make their way across war-torn Europe. And some of the artists go on to become famous, including fashion designer Bill Blass and painter/sculptor Ellsworth Kelly.

That’s the TRUE story of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, aka The Ghost Army, a top-secret unit that staged a traveling road show of deception with the German army as the audience. Filmmaker Rick Beyer has spent the last eight years making a documentary film about this unit that will be on PBS later this year. Illustrator Liz Sayles grew up hearing stories about  The Ghost Army since her father, Bill Sayles, was one of the artists in the unit.

A Village in Germany by Bill Sayles; Portrait of Ray Harford by VIctor Dowd.
A Village in Germany by Bill Sayles; Portrait of Ray Harford by VIctor Dowd.

Now Rick and Liz are getting together to curate a traveling exhibit of original Ghost Army art. First stop: The Edward Hopper House in Nyack, NY. And we’re asking for your help to cover the costs of putting together and promoting this exhibit.

We will have original wartime paintings and drawings from nearly 20 Ghost Army artists, including the notebook Bill Blass carried with him across Europe. Rockland County artists Ned Harris and Bill Sayles will have works there, as well as famed wildlife artist Arthur Singer, who also served in the unit.

These works are in a myriad of different collections across the country. They have to be shipped, framed, and mounted for the exhibit. We also need to design and print promotional materials as well as some custom exhibit panels.

Here’s a list of artists whose work we expect to exhibit:

  • Walter Arnett 
  • Bill Blass
  • Mordecai Reese Craig
  • Victor Dowd
  • John Jarvie
  • Ned Harris
  • Harold Laynor
  • Richard Morton
  • Bill Sayles
  • Alvin Shaw
  • Arthur Shilstone
  • Arthur SInger
  • Bob Tompkins
  • Keith Williams
  • George VanderSluis
  • Anthony Young

The Ghost Army is an awesome story of creativity being used to help save lives during WWII. Please help us remember the soldier/artists who helped make it happen through this exhibit.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The gallery has booked the exhibit. The families and archives that hold the art have agreed to lend it. Our main challenge is simply going to be to handle the logistics of safely and securely bringing together this art and setting up the exhibit.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    1 backer

    Donation Level: Private First Class. You get the warm feeling of having contributed to a worthy project honoring artists who served their country during World War II. And the sergeant promises not to put you on KP this Saturday night!

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    8 backers

    Donation Level: Master Sergeant. Your three stripes earns you the honor of being listed on a funding credits poster at the exhibit.

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    7 backers

    Donation Level: You will receive all of the above, plus a personal letter of commendation from Rick Beyer and Liz Sayles, and a Ghost Army pin that you can wear with pride.

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    Add $3 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    19 backers

    Donation Level: Captain. All of the above plus a personally autographed copy of the book ARTISTS OF DECEPTION, a 48 page visual history of the unit by Rick Beyer and Liz Sayles containing more than 200 beautifully reproduced works of art and photographs created by artists of the Ghost Army.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    8 backers

    Donation Level: Major. All of the above plus a limited edition 8 x 10 color art quality print of Ghost Army artwork. You'll have your choice from some captivating wartime paintings and sketches.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Donation Level: Colonel. All of the above plus two VIP tickets to a special screening of THE GHOST ARMY documentary at the Nyack Center on Sunday May 26. Filmmaker Rick Beyer and several veterans of the unit will be in attendance to answer questions afterward.

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    2 backers All gone!

    Donation Level: Brigadier General. You've reached the rank of general because you are playing a leadership roll in making this happen. You will receive all of the above plus a personal preview of the exhibit (for up to 6 people) by co-curator Liz Sayles.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    Donation Level: Major General. All of the above plus a one-of-a-kind framed print of Jack Masey's caricature of Bill Blass, autographed by the artist in November of 2012. Make sure you have the privates shine the glass every morning so it looks smart!

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Funding period

- (30 days)