Honoring the Veterans of World War I in Multiple Media

World War I Exhibition
David DeJonge’s traveling exhibition, printed on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth, educates school children and honors America’s World War I veterans.


David DeJonge may be the world’s busiest photographer. DeJonge and his wife Gayle run two thriving photography and imaging businesses and two non-profits.

You may be familiar with the non-profit portion of DeJonge’s work, which has been featured on major television networks and countless other media outlets. We also featured it here a few years ago as DeJonge was putting together a traveling exhibition honoring World War I veterans printed on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth.

Pershing's Last Patriot
Pershing’s Last Patriot is a 90-minute documentary about the last surviving WWI veteran, Frank Buckles, that’s an offshoot of David DeJonge’s photographic documentation and subsequent traveling exhibition. DeJonge printed posters for each screening of the film on LexJet Premium Archival Matte Paper.

The idea for the traveling exhibition, geared toward students across the country, spawned from DeJonge’s photo documentary work with the last surviving WWI veterans as part of the Faces of Five Wars, covering WWI through Desert Storm.

The traveling exhibition then spawned a permanent exhibition at the Pentagon, a 90-minute feature-length documentary, the $3 million restoration of a World War I memorial on the National Mall, and the introduction of a law to build a national memorial to World War I on the Mall as well (HR 222: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr222).

Pentagon Exhibition by David DeJonge
DeJonge’s work, also printed on LexJet inkjet media, led to a permanent exhibit at the Pentagon.

The traveling exhibition was a hit, and continues to travel to schools and educational organizations. DeJonge estimates that 50,000 students have seen the exhibition.

“Over the years, the panels we printed for the exhibition have held up incredibly well. They were rolled up in a tube for about eight months at one point and we wondered what might have happened to them.  We unrolled them and they were perfect; they weren’t wrinkled at all,” says DeJonge. “That show is back out on the road and we’re preparing for the 100th anniversary of World War I next year. Who would have thought this would be a 12-year journey?”

DeJonge is also spearheading a 90-minute documentary about the last surviving World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, that opened in Iowa on April 15. Buckles passed away in 2011 at the age of 110.

Demand was such that the film has been screened 24 more times since that initial screening. DeJonge also printed movie posters for the screenings on LexJet Premium Archival Matte Paper.

David DeJonge may be the world's busiest photographer, running a high-end portrait studio, running cross-country for his non-profit World War I educational and documentary projects, and the recent startup of Legacy Icons, which reproduces religious icons on LexJet inkjet media and is shipped worldwide.
David DeJonge may be the world’s busiest photographer, running a high-end portrait studio, running cross-country for his non-profit World War I educational and documentary projects, and the recent startup of Legacy Icons, which reproduces religious icons on LexJet inkjet media and is shipped worldwide.

If that wasn’t enough, DeJonge recently launched Legacy Icons, which are reproductions of religious icons printed on multiple LexJet products including LexJet Sunset Velvet Rag and shipped worldwide. This is all in addition to the full-time high-end photography studio, DeJonge Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich.

DeJonge is often on the road overseeing his various projects, so he plugs in remotely to work on files and print remotely, while his wife handles the final production at the studio. Long 16-18 hour days are not unusual when DeJonge is on the road.

For more information about DeJonge’s efforts to honor World War I veterans, go to:




Easy-to-Ship Photo Exhibition Honors World War I Veterans

An exhibition of extra-large photographs can be a powerful way to tell  important stories. Large, professionally produced photographs have the power to make people stop, look, and think. 

When a photo exhibition is particularly well done, it’s wonderful when people in other cities can also enjoy the experience of viewing it.  But the costs of shipping large, framed prints from city to city can quickly add up, making it impractical for photographers and non-profits or publicly funded groups to produce as many traveling exhibitions as they might like.    

An article entitled Education in Fabric in  Vol. 4,  No. 5 of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter describes how photographer David DeJonge used an inkjet-printable fabric from LexJet to create a lightweight, easy-to-ship photo exhibition that honors veterans of of World War I. The exhibit is scheduled to visit 1,000 school districts and be seen by as many as 2.5 million schoolchildren, teachers, and other viewers.

Photo banner honoring James Russell Coffey
Photo banner honoring James Russell Coffey

DeJonge, who owns DeJonge Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., started photographing the remaining veterans from World War I about 14 years ago as part of his Faces of Five Wars series, which depicts veterans from World War I through Desert Storm.  The initial project led to vast amounts of press coverage, an exhibit in the Pentagon, and the drive to build a national WWI monument. 

When the first exhibition was shown at Creekwood Middle School in Humble, Texas, DeJonge’s images were printed and framed. All together, the images weighed around 400 pounds and cost nearly $1,000 to ship round-trip.

The first exhibit was viewed by 3,000 people and raised more than $14,000 for the restoration and expansion of the World War I Memorial on the National Mall. Still, DeJonge realized that packing and shipping the framed prints to multiple sites would not only be expensive but cumbersome.

After DeJonge started researching ways to make it more feasible to present his photo exhibition at multiple sites, he chose LexJet Water Resistant Satin Cloth. He used the fabric to print 14 large banners that showcase the images and life stories of 13 Allied World War I veterans, including 108-year-old Frank W. Buckles who is the last living American veteran of World War I.

DeJonge printed the banners on his 44-in. Epson Stylus Pro 9880 wide-format inkjet printer. Each banner is 42 in. x 6-1/2 ft.  By presenting the photos as fabric banners instead of framed prints, DeJonge eliminated about 330 pounds from the shipping weight of the exhibition.  Plus, the banners can be rolled up for shipping, making it easy to transport the exhibition from school to school within the 1,000 school districts the tour is scheduled to visit.

As for the quality of the image reproduction, DeJonge says he was very pleased with LexJet’s Water Resistant Satin Cloth: “It provides good flesh tones and smooth transitions between the shadow and highlight areas.” He also praised the clarity of the text reproduction on each banner, adding that, “I have never experienced anything like it with a similar printable material.” 

To read the full story in LexJet’s In Focus newsletter, click here.  

To learn more about how to use Water-Resistant Satin Cloth to produce easy-to-hang photo banners, contact a LexJet account specialist at 888-873-7553. 

For other creative ideas for using inkjet-printable materials and pro-model wide-format inkjet printers, subscribe to LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.