Artists of Deception

Artists of Deception
"Artists of Deception", by Rick Beyer and Liz Sayles, is a visual history of the WWII deception unit known as "The Ghost Army". It contains more than 200 beautifully reproduced paintings, sketches, photographs, maps and artifacts relating to this extraordinary unit.  It is a companion to both the Ghost Army traveling exhibit, and the upcoming documentary film.

In 1944, an unusual group of American GI s landed in Europe to carry out one of the most bizarre missions of World War II. Their job was to use inflatable tanks, sound effects records, radio trickery and other illusions to create a traveling road show of deception, with the German army as the audience.From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (aka The Ghost Army) conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Every move they made was top-secret, and their story was hushed up for four decades after the war's end. Their mission bordered on the surreal.

But that is only part of their extraordinary story. The Army recruited artists to help create the illusions required to deceive the enemy. In private moments, they painted and sketched their way across Europe, creating a unique and poignant visual record of their war. A number of Ghost Army artists achieved post-war acclaim: Fashion giant Bill Blass. Ellsworth Kelley, famed as a minimalist painter and sculptor. Arthur Singer, eminent bird artist. Many others also attained artistic prominence.

This book was made possible through the generosity of Sothebys and Spire Fine Art Printing.

Available for sale at

updated 2 years ago