25 July 2017

Smithsonian – Artistic Expression in the First World War; Breathtaking & Moving Exhibit of Art by Those Who Lived the Experience

Smithsonian – Artistic Expression in the First World War
Breathtaking & Moving Exhibit of Art by Those Who Lived the Experience

This past weekend I was in the DC area and caught the new movie Dunkirk at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the Air and Space Museum. The first person perspectives on the realities of war were compelling and left us chatting about how we didn’t know about this and that and so forth.

After the movie ended though, we had only a couple of hours before the museum closed. So, we cut our chat short (to be resumed later) and since we hadn’t visited this particular museum since about 2000, we visited some newer exhibits.  One of these is titled “Artist Soldiers – Artistic Expression in the First World War.” (runs through 11 November 2018)

It is an incredibly moving exhibit. You can catch a glimpse of it via a short video on the exhibit page (see link above -- NOT in the image and in the previous paragraph) and learn much more about the artists/soldiers and their artistry.

Since we didn’t have enough time to visit the entire exhibit, I know that we’ll go back again.

Within a few minutes of entering, I learned about the Underground Cities that were created. I had no idea.  I’ve always understood about trench warfare, poison gas, air battles, and more and had never even heard that there had been underground cities. Via a short video (Smithsonian Channel) more about these cities via Jeff Gusky (whose photos are found in the mentioned exhibit) is learned.
Both of these experiences were so visceral in their impact.  Though I hope to never personally know what a World War feels like, I do have a better appreciation of the experience of those who served in WWI via both the movie and art exhibit I recently experienced.

What WWI commemorative exhibit or activity has really struck a chord with you?


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