WWI Museum archivist hopes public can assist in identifying soldiers’ portraits

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The World War I Museum is seeking the public's help for any information on the four soldiers in portraits that were donated earlier in the year.

“By some chance, someone might say this person looks familiar,” said Jonathan Casey, who has started digging for information.


It might be a long shot, but its one archivist Casey is willing to take. The museum received a donation of four oval portraits of African-American soldiers during World War I. Little other information is known.

“If we had a name, if we knew even what state somebody was from or what location in the country,” he said.

Maybe these portraits might trigger a response from someone in Kansas City. That’s why Casey is asking the public to take a closer look.

He says the museum is trying to build on its African American collection.

“You don’t see African American material that often. It’s out there but it’s not as produced,” said Casey.

That’s because he says there were about 400,000 African Americans in an army of four million. So something like this, in its condition is rare.

To see these portraits in person, it will be on display at the Black Archives of Mid-America this Saturday at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit this link.

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