World War I brought out the best and the worst of mankind and the people involved have been remembered either for the terror they brought or the compassion they showed. One of those compassionate individuals was Anna Coleman Watts Ladd, an American sculptor who moved to France with her husband in 1917. There, she was introduced to Francis Derwent Wood, a sculptor who created a “Tin Noses Shop” where he helped severely injured WWI soldiers. Wood created face masks for disfigured WWI warriors, giving them a new chance at life. Inspired by his work, Ladd created her own “Studio for Portrait-Masks” where she created portrait-masks for these soldiers in need. Needless to say, her work changed many people’s lives.


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More info: Rare Historical Photos | Library of Congress

Anna Coleman Watts Ladd was an American sculptor whose work changed many lives

In late 1917, Ladd was inspired by sculptor Francis Derwent Wood who created face masks for severely injured WWI warriors in his “Tin Noses Shop”

After that, Ladd founded the “Studio for Portrait-Masks” where she provided cosmetic masks for badly disfigured WWI soldiers

During this era, injured men battled with the psychological stress of worrying what people would think about their damaged appearance

The so-called mutilés were so wounded, some of their faces were barely recognizable

These victims were referred to as “the most tragic of all war’s victims” since most of them were doomed to a life of total isolation

Using her incredible talent she saved many men and changed their lives forever

In 1932, to honor her charitable work, Ladd was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the French Government

After reading this story, many people were touched by Ladd’s incredible talent

Watch this video to learn more about Ladd’s work!