JOIN, SAVE, BUY

Please check out our credit and acknowledgments page to the people who made this show possible. Click Here!

Title: GEE!! I WISH I WERE A MAN I'D JOIN THE NAVY

Creator: Howard Chandler Christy

Subject: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918--Art and the war; World War, 1914-1918-- Posters; World War 1914-118--Propaganda

Publisher: Truman State University

Contributing Institution: Truman State University (Owner); Missouri State Archives, Missouri Secretary of State (Digitizing Technician)

Date Original: 1917

Date Digital: 2014

 

Title: JOIN ME THE FIRST TO FIGHT ON LAND AND SEA U. S. MARINES

Creator: Unknown

Subject: World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1914-1918--Art and the war; World War, 1914-1918-- Posters; World War 1914-118--Propaganda

Publisher: Truman State University

Contributing Institution: Truman State University (Owner); Missouri State Archives, Missouri Secretary of State (Digitizing Technician)

Date Original:

Date Digital: 2014

ARTS AGAINST THE GREAT WAR

Please check out our credit and acknowledgments page to the people who made this show possible. Click Here!

What is a facsimile and why are the Dada works shown in facsimile editions?

 

Works of art have been copied for centuries if not millennia and by many civilizations. A facsimile, specifically, is a reproduction--an exact copy--of an object, made at a later date to be as close as possible to the original. The production of facsimiles of printed material grew first with printing technology; some scholars date the first facsimile to 1697. With developments in industrial printing, and increased interest in art collecting during the nineteenth century, a market for less expensive versions--as close as possible to the original--grew.

 

Facsimiles have a number of advantages: they allow people to have a version of something which is very close to the original for a much lower cost; they allow institutions which own irreplaceable, priceless originals to better preserve those works; and they increase the number of people who can interact with a work.

 

The three Dada periodicals on display in Arts Against the Great War are all facsimile versions on loan from the International Dada Archive at the University of Iowa. The facsimiles were produced by Italian poet, anarchist, art collector, and gallery director Arturo Schwarz in the 1970s. During this time, two things made this possible. First, a resurgence of interest in materials related to the Dada movement led to increased demand. With this growing interest, the price of historic Dada materials also grew: the price of an original Dada periodical issue might well have increased a hundredfold or more in the past fifty years. Second, a realization that Dada materials are very rare, very fragile, and few in number. The fragility was partly due to the low quality of paper during the First World War and the displacement of artists and publishers during the war and its aftermath. Interestingly, the Schwarz facsimiles are now rare and in demand in their own right.

 

Because the original documents are currently being shown in an exhibition at the University of Iowa Main Library, and because of conservation concerns, the Schwarz facsimiles are being displayed in the Truman exhibition.

 

OBJECTS

Boots, c. 1914-18

Leather, iron

 

Truman State University, Pickler Memorial Library Special Collections, E.M. Violette Museum Collection, WWI.2.71a,b

 

Brown leather U.S. Army World War I field boots with hobnails on the sole. The hobnails provided the soldiers with traction on soft rocky ground and snow.

 

Käthe Kollwitz

Self Portrait, date of plate 1921, date of impression c. 1946-65

Printed in Berlin by Verlag Alexander von der Becke

Etching

Truman State University, Department of Art

 

Georges Rouault

Le dur métier de vivre (The Hard Task of Living), 1922

(from the portfolio Miserere (Misery))

Intaglio

On loan from the collection of Prof. James Jereb

 

MUSIC

Music by Ivor Novello, Lyrics by Lena Guilbert Ford

Keep the Home-Fires Burning, 1917

Printed Sheet Music

On loan from the collection of Dr. Julie Lochbaum

 

Lena Ford, the lyricist for “Keep the Home Fires Burning,” was a mother living in England during the time of the war. Her son, Walter, was of age to be drafted, but was not because of a physical disability from a childhood accident. However Ford and her son both lost their lives to the war during an air raid in England. It wasn’t just the soldiers lives who were in danger, but citizens too. Air raids were not as popular in World War I as they were in World War II, however people at home faced food shortages, occupation, and other hardships during the war. “Keep the Home Fires Burning” addresses the hardships of parents who were sending their children to war while also trying to maintain a positive outlook. The song was thus a bigger hit with families back home than it was with the soldiers. Often, only the soldiers hardships are emphasized during World War I, but it is important to note the soldiers’ families also faced hard times.

 

Käthe Kollwitz, the artist of Self Portrait, was a mother living in Germany during the war. She saw a lot of needless suffering of her people because of the war, one she didn’t believe in. She lost her youngest son in the first year of World War I. This was a devastating loss for her and changed the course of her artwork for the rest of her life. Her worked turned to representing parents who had lost children because of the war and she built a memorial to her son and all the other children lost in the war later in her life.

 

Hard Task of Living done by Georges Rouault shows the emotion that both soldiers and families felt during World War I. At times it seemed impossible for life to go on. Soldiers suffered daily in the battle fields. Parents who lost their children did not know what to do. Emotions were high during the war and yet everyone was encouraged to keep their spirits high and help the war effort.

FURTHER READING

For more on Käthe Kollwitz, please see for example:

https://www.moma.org/artists/3201

 

For more on Georges Rouault’s Miserere series, please visit:

http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Rouault.html

 

For two recordings, from 1916 and 1917 of Keep the Home Fires Burning, please visit:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/audio/keepthehomefiresburning.htm

 

For a Chicago Tribune article about the death of Lena Ford and her son Walter, please visit:

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1918/03/13/page/8/article/maid-heroine-in-bomb-tragedy