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Lecture: “Artists of Deception: The Ghost Army of World War II” by Rick Beyer

Wed, September 27th, 2017 at 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Prior to his long career as a Newcomb College art professor and experimental printmaker, New Orleanian Jim Steg was a soldier-artist in the top-secret World War II tactical deception unit known as the “Ghost Army.” In conjunction with the exhibition Jim Steg: New Work, author and documentary filmmaker Rick Beyer will discuss the vital role of this little-known division that was charged with creating battlefield props to trick Nazi armies. The deceivers employed an array of inflatables (tanks, trucks, jeeps, airplanes), sound trucks, phony radio transmissions and even playacting to trick the enemy. The largest of the four sub-units in the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the 603rd handled visual deception. They could create dummy airfields, motor pools, artillery batteries, and tank formations in a matter of hours.


Beyer cowrote The Ghost Army of World War II with Elizabeth Sayles and produced a companion award-winning PBS documentary in 2013. As a longtime history enthusiast who has written books ranging from The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told to First Shot: The Lexington Revolutionary Experience and Rivals Unto Death: Hamilton and Burr, Beyer has appeared on CBS News, MSNBC, CNN, The Discovery Channel, NPR, and Fox News. For more background, visit Beyer’s website.


Wed, September 27th, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM