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    See How Face Masks Completely Changed Some Soldiers' Lives After WWI

    Works of art, indeed.

    Among the many horrors that hundreds of World War I veterans faced was the harsh reality of facial disfigurement.

    A little over 100 years ago, Anna Coleman Ladd decided to do something to improve the lives of these injured soldiers.

    Anna was inspired by Francis Derwent Wood. He was also a sculptor who helped severely injured British soldiers with his “Tin Noses Shop.”

    Anna’s intentions were to restore the soldiers' self-esteems, as many were worried about how society would react to their new appearances.

    She founded a shop called "Studio for Portrait Masks" in Paris and, over a year and a half, she and her colleagues created over 100 handmade masks for French soldiers.

    Surgery and skin grafting were also options back then, but Anna helped those soldiers whose facial injuries could not be reconstructed with surgery.

    Anna modeled her portrait masks from photographs taken before the soldiers were injured.

    She started by creating a plaster cast of the injured soldier's face.

    Anna was incredibly accommodating. If the soldier wanted a mustache, they got a mustache.

    The Red Cross was not able fund her studio when the war ended, so it regrettably closed.

    Due to her extraordinarily charitable work, Anna was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the French government in 1932.

    For more on Anna's life and work be sure to check out her information page on the Smithsonian website.