By Tom Boltz
|Our Contributor, Tom Boltz, Admires Work by AEF Artist Harvey Dunn|
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History are jointly exhibiting a collection of WW I paintings and other artifacts at the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC. Anyone interested in WW I and traveling to Washington, DC, in the next year will find a visit to this exhibit a rewarding experience. After last being displayed in the 1920s, the vast majority of this art collection has not been seen by the public since then. The exhibit opened on 6 April 2017 and closes on 11 November 2018, which corresponds to the official period of the United States involvement in the Great War 100 years ago.
The paintings were made by eight professional illustrators commissioned as U.S. Army officers and allowed to roam the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) areas of operation. Their mission was to illustrate the various activities, including combat, of the AEF. The paintings were then to be used to help the people back home understand the war experiences of the American soldier.
|Other exhibits contain examples of the WW I U.S. Army |
military equipment and weapons seen in the paintings.
|Also included in the exhibit are photos of limestone carvings made by |
American soldiers on the walls of limestone quarries where they were stationed.
The Smithsonian’s WW I art exhibit will remain on display until 11 November 2018.