The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial announces two new exhibitions opening in April.
World War I All-Stars: Sports & the Inter-Allied Games
Opens April 5 in Exhibit Hall
Beginning April 5, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will explore the important role sports played during the Great War through a new exhibition entitled World War I All-Stars: Sports & the Inter-Allied Games.
Located in Exhibit Hall, the exhibition highlights the Inter-Allied Games of 1919, an Olympics-type competition that was designed to strengthen the bonds of understanding among soldiers of the Allied nations after World War I ended.
“Despite the competitive nature of athletic events, the Inter-Allied Games effectively bridged international borders and served as a common ‘language’ unfettered by culture or nationality,” says vice president of Collections and Research & Chief Historian Dr. Lisa Budreau. “We are proud to share this important yet fairly unknown story with both sports fans and history buffs alike.”
In addition to the Inter-Allied Games, the exhibition places a special emphasis on American baseball players and other famous athletes who served in the Great War. Visitors will view the Museum’s rare collection of wartime athletic gear as well as items on loan from various institutions across the United States, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., First Division Museum in Cantigny, Ill., the YMCA Archives in Minneapolis, Minn., Ohio State University, and many more.
“As thousands of baseball fans embark upon Kansas City this summer for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game,” says Brian Alexander, President & CEO, “we hope to enhance these visitors’ experience by offering a look at sports history they won’t find anywhere else in the country.”
World War I All-Stars: Sports & the Inter-Allied Games is made possible through the generosity of Pioneer Services, Courtney S. Turner Trust and the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. Open through December 2012, the exhibition is included with admission to the Museum and free for members.
Panthéon de la Guerre: From Paris to the Chicago World’s Fair to Kansas City
Opens April 14 in Memory Hall
On April 14, a special exhibition tracing the Panthéon de la Guerre’s remarkable journey will open in conjunction with Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, a major traveling exhibition on view concurrently at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Located in Memory Hall, Panthéon De La Guerre: From Paris to the Chicago World’s Fair to Kansas City explores the history of the famous mural housed in Memory Hall through photographs, video and original wartime paintings that were used to guide the Panthéon’s artists. Additionally,the exhibition will display sections excised from the painting that have not been seen by the public since 1940.
“For more than 50 years, the Panthéon de la Guerre has been admired by guests who visit Memory Hall but few people know the fascinating story behind it,” says President & CEO Brian Alexander. “With this special exhibition, we are pleased to share the rich history of this one-of-a-kind work of art that has become a priceless part of the Museum.”
Mark Levitch co-curated the exhibition with Museum staff and is author of the book “Panthéon de la Guerre: Reconfiguring a Panorama of the Great War,” (University of Missouri Press and the National World War I Museum, 2006).
“Revered, forgotten and eventually repurposed, the Panthéon de la Guerre is a unique testament to how World War I was remembered through the course of the 20th century,” said Levitch. “Staging the exhibition in Memory Hall affords us the exceptional opportunity of tracing the Panthéon’s epic history – stretching from Paris to Kansas City – at the foot of the painting in its final, reconfigured form.”
Panthéon De La Guerre: From Paris to the Chicago World’s Fair to Kansas City runs through September 2012, and is included with regular admission to the Museum and free for members.
For more information, visit www.theworldwar.org.