Photographing war took skill

Register City Editor

Submitted photo
Doran Cart, curator of the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo., is shown here meeting Frank Buckles, America’s last known surviving World War I veteran. Cart will speak Friday at the Buster Keaton Celebration.

Doran Cart, curator of the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo., will draw on images and film clips from the museum’s archives for his presentation at the Buster Keaton Celebration Friday morning.
Cart will discuss “Lights, Camera and REAL Action: The U.S. Army Signal Corps Motion Picture and Still Photographers’ Work, 1917-1919” at 11:10 in the Bowlus Fine Arts Center auditorium.
Cart will explain how Army Signal Corps recorded soldiers preparing to deploy to France and in Europe during the war. Recording involved more than just pointing a camera, Cart said.
“I’ll talk about the individuals who were involved, the logistics of getting equipment to France and how film was handled and returned to the United States,” he said. “We have many photos and film clips at the museum that I’ll show Friday, from action in the field to things that were staged,” including footage of one general.
“It shows him being told how to look at the camera, where to stand and other things” Cart said. “I think it’s an interesting point of view from the film record of the war. However, much of what was recorded was taken as it happened. It was designed to get the word out about the war.”
Even so, films and photographs were censored before being released, Cart said. “It was quite a process that occurred before the public was permitted to see them.”

CART HAS BEEN curator of the war museum for 19 years. He worked at museums in five states prior to assuming the post. The museum, which includes the Liberty Memorial, gives a comprehensive view of U.S. involvement in the war through uniforms, aircraft, vehicles, helmets, badges and banners, as well as moving images and still photographs.
Cart is also currently president of the Western Front Association, U. S. Branch, an organization dedicated to preserving that particular history of World War I.

THE KEATON festival starts with the annual pilgrimage to Piqua at 8 a.m. Friday. Those going should meet Amy Specht and David Macleod outside the Bowlus Center.
Registration at the Bowlus opens at 9:30 a.m. and visitors will be welcomed by Susan Raines, executive director of the Bowlus, and Frank Scheide, master of ceremonies, at 9:50. The first presentation, a 10-minute Sunflower Journeys video segment on the WWI Museum, starts at 10 o’clock.
Other presentations, including screenings of silent films, continue throughout Friday and all day Saturday.