KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The centenary of World War I provides an opportunity to revisit the tragedy of 1914-19 and reflect on the human suffering in the second decade of the 20th century.
The war left more than 9 million soldiers dead in its wake and millions more missing and wounded, including civilian casualties. The peace that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson authored brought with it the hope that those individuals who perished on the battlefields and oceans had not died in vain, but had truly fought “the war to end all wars.” Sadly, these hopes were shattered by a second world war.
Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic, a special centennial exhibition running Nov. 9, 2017 through May 13, 2018 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, focuses on the final two years of the Great War through a series of works of art with an emphasis on American involvement.
“Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic is an incredibly diverse exhibition presenting views of the war from an array of unique perspectives,” said Jonathan Casey, Director, Archives and the Edward Jones Research Center, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. “The poignant works provide the viewer with a lens into the experiences of those who endured the overwhelming brutality of World War I.”
On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany. The first American troops arrived in France in June, at a time when British and French morale was faltering. Volume 5 of Harper’s Pictorial History of the World War states: “America won her independence as a result of the Revolutionary War, in which France became our ally, furnishing troops, a fleet and money. In 1917 America repaid the debt by sending an army overseas at a time when the French were exhausted.”
The war saw a vast output of pictorial work that attempted to capture the harsh realities of fighting. Some of these images were created for the illustrated press, while others came from the pencils of soldiers at the front as well as professional studio artists. This exhibition includes works by French, British, German and American artists, including Julius Bloch, Lucien Jonas, Gerald Spencer Pryse and Ernst Zimmer.
Support for the exhibition was provided by the Francis Family Foundation. The exhibition was organized by Brown University Library and The President Woodrow Wilson House, a National Trust Historic Site, Washington, D.C., and curated by Peter Harrington, Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection.
Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic is open from
Nov. 9, 2017 – May 13, 2018 in the Ellis Gallery.
About the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most comprehensive 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 experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.
2 Memorial Drive
Kansas City, MO 64108