Artwork by “Uncle Sam” illustrator recovered decades after disappearing

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NEW YORK, Ny. (CBS) — Almost everyone’s familiar with the stern image of “Uncle Sam” imploring young men to register for service in a World War I recruiting poster. The artist behind the work was James Montgomery Flagg, who’s lesser known for his other works, including sensuous images of women.

One of his particular favorites mysteriously vanished decades ago. Flagg was Ray Kinstler’s mentor. Kinstler said Flagg’s most treasured piece was this nude, of his model and love, Ilse Hoffmann.

“When he painted people, they breathed” Kinstler told CBS News’ Anna Werner. “You could feel the character, in a way, and the whole personality.”

After Flagg’s death in 1960, Kinstler helped clear out Flagg’s New York apartment. “I remember looking out of the window, and the painting was there,” Kinstler said. “Everything was in place.”

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