Tag Archives: Arthur Mole

Arthur Mole’s Extraordinary Mass Photography

26 Mar

Arthur Mole

Photo via: Design You Trust


Didn’t I just gave you an example of America’s greatness in doing mass group shots? Yes, I did. By coincident I just came back from «Design You Trust» and I found Arthur Mole’s work, which fits perfectly into the actual chain of blog entries on Meerschweinchenreport:

«Almost a century ago and without the aid of any pixel-generating computer software, the itinerant photographer Arthur Mole (1889-1983) used his 11 x 14-inch view camera to stage a series of extraordinary mass photographic spectacles that choreographed living bodies into symbolic formations of religious and national community. In these mass ornaments, thousands of military troops and other groups were arranged artfully to form American patriotic symbols, emblems, and military insignia visible from a bird’s eye perspective. During World War I, these military formations came to serve as rallying points to support American involvement in the war and to ward off isolationist tendencies.

Living Portrait of President Woodrow Wilson (above), for which 21,000 troops assembled at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1918, is the best-known of Mole’s photographs. The image is characteristic of Mole’s work in that it wavers between the compositional effect of the whole (i.e. a portrait of Woodrow Wilson) and the desire to focus upon the obscured individuals who constitute the image, thereby undermining the optical illusion of the totality to a degree.» Quote from inspirefirst where you can see many more examples of Arthur Mole’s exceptional work.

Sensitive topic. Therefore comments off.