At the outbreak of World War One, life for many women was mainly tied to a life of domesticity, their places still largely in the home. Some, like the Suffragettes, were campaigning vocally for change, but the glass ceiling remained at ground level.
One woman who broke the mould 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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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