WWI Artifacts and Memories: An Artist Overseas

15, May 2015
drawing of a church in france during wwiGeorge Maguolo's sketch of architecture in Chaumont, France during WWI. Missouri History Museum.

Often when learning about World War I the focus is on the men in the trenches. Visions of going “over the top” and charging headlong into no man’s land and certain doom are evoked. Though this was a common experience for many of soldiers who served during the First World War, it was far from the only experience.

St. Louisan George J. Maguolo had a unique World War I experience, serving as a draftsman and cartographer for General Headquarters staff in France. Maguolo was in Company A, 29th Engineers and would spend the war drawing maps. In his free time, he visited French cities and towns to sketch the architecture he spoke about frequently in his letters home. Shortly after the armistice on November 11, 1918, Maguolo was sent to the American Expeditionary Force Art Training Center at Bellevue, France. He also spent time at a French architecture school before returning to the United States. After the war, George would go on to establish an architecture firm, Maguolo and Quick, in St. Louis.

In this post from the Missouri Over There project blog, Associate Historian Rochelle Caruthers takes a look at the service of George Maguolo and his unique collection at the Missouri History Museum. The letters and sketches of Maguolo can be viewed here.

—Patrick Allie, World War I Exhibit Curator