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Captain Harvey Dunn – Illustrator of WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154 FDC

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover; Edsel cachet

Captured World War I Front Line Action as Artist-Correspondent

Capt. Harvey Thomas Dunn (1884 – 1952) was a pioneering artist and war correspondent who documented WWI from the front line trenches. He was one of only eight artists who the U.S. Army commissioned to chronicle the war by serving in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe. They were all provided the rank of captain.

Provided Art Work for WWI Commemorative Stamp

Dunn’s illustration, “The Battle of Marne,” was selected for this 22-cent WWI commemorative stamp (Scott #2154). Most of the art commissioned under this AEF program was acquired by the Smithsonian. A noted in the text on this Edsel cachet, Dunn was a devoted Freemason and had hung a good number of his post-war art work in the Masonic Hall in DeSmet, South Dakota. A number of Dunn’s art is also now housed at the South Dakota Art Museum.

Harvey Thomas Dunn

Capt. Harvey Thomas Dunn

Early Career

Harvey Dunn started college in South Dakota majoring  in agriculture. However, he was persuaded by an instructor to pursue art. He ended up transferring to the Art Institute of Chicago and then left to study under Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware in 1904. He illustrated many books and publications, but was best known as an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, from 1906-1939. He put his  commercial illustration work aside when he was chosen by General John J. Pershing, also a Freemason, to join the AEF as artist-correspondent.

For More Information

Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West

Portrait of War: The U.S. Army’s First Combat Artists and the Doughboys’ Experience in WWI



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