KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The opening of a special exhibition, Images of the Great War: European Offensives 1914-1916, along a discussion/screening about the influence of World War I on J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing are among the events offered by the National World War I Museum and Memorial in March, while patrons will have a final opportunity to view a pair of special exhibitions before they close.
Opening Tuesday, March 29, Images of the Great War: European Offensives 1914-1916 examines new ideas and attitudes about art, literature and music that developed as a direct result of the start of World War I as the work of artists from eight different countries is shown. With a focus on the first two years of the war, art from France, Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Turkey and Switzerland depicts how changes in technology, international relations, and a shifting global perspective influenced the art of that period. With pieces from both professional artists of the era as well as soldiers on the front line, the exhibition showcases both modernism and a reversion to the 19th century that emerged from social circumstances brought about through war.
Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus, N.M., was a catalyst for the emerging presence of the U.S. Army on the Mexican border. Historian and author Jeff Patrick discusses this attack on American territory as well as the “Punitive Expedition” and General John J. Pershing’s daring invasion into northern Mexico to ultimately capture Villa during a free event on Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m.
In the mind of legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien hobbits existed during World War I. During the Great War, Tolkien fought as a soldier in the British Army at the Battle of the Somme and the influence of World War I in his writings can be seen in several notable passages throughout one of his most classic literary works, The Hobbit. Laura Vogt, Curator of Education at the museum, discuss some of these passages in a free event at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 25. A screening of the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows the discussion.
The Museum’s latest offering from the In the Know series examines sheet music during the World War I era and the accompanying illustrations depicting Red Cross nurses’ dedication, steadfastness, competence, kindness, attractiveness and American identity. Dr. Theresa Leininger-Miller, art history professor at the University of Cincinnati, addresses this subject in a free program on Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. as well as the many intricacies of these works and how they personified nurses during the war.
The Eastern Front played a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of the war. What exactly might a day in the life of these soldiers have entailed? On Sunday, March 13 the Living History Volunteer Corps showcases and shares stories about how these soldiers lived, the hardships they endured, and what exactly it was like to be on the front lines during the Great War in a free program.
March is the last month for two special exhibitions at the Museum. The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War exhibition closes Sunday, March 6, while Rearranging History: Daniel MacMorris and the Panthéon de la Guerre featuring remnants from the world’s largest painting closes Sunday, March 27.
Throughout the month of March, complimentary museum tours will be offered on Thursdays at 2 p.m. Space is available on a first come, first serve basis at the ticket counter. Additionally, the Hands-on History program continues every Saturday in March at 11 a.m., with kids being given the chance to handle authentic artifacts from the World War I era. The program is complimentary with the price of admission.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.
March National World War I Museum and Memorial Events
- Every Wednesday: World War Wednesdays (all tickets $7)
- Every Thursday: Complimentary Tour, 2 p.m. (FREE with paid admission)
- Every Saturday: Hands-on History, 10:30 a.m. (FREE with paid admission)
- Sunday, March 13: Day in the Life: Soldiers of the War – The Eastern Front 1916, All Day (FREE)
- Sunday, March 20: In the Know: The Angel of No Man’s Land, Red Cross Nurses and Illustrated Sheet Music, 2 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)
- Friday, March 25: Talking Tolkien: The Hobbit, 6 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)
- Tuesday, March 29: Images of the Great War: European Offensives 1914-1916 opens
About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
To learn more, visit www.theworldwar.org.