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'The Great War: Printmakers of World War I' opens at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Percy John Smith, (English, 1882-1948), Death Awed (from the portfolio Dance of Death, 1914-1918), 1919, etching. Promised Gift of Frank Raysor.
RICHMOND, VA.- This exhibition marks the centenary of the start of World War I—July 28, 1914—which involved more than 40 nations before the conflict ended on November 11, 1918. For the first time, efficient, mechanized, and chemical weapons—a horrific product of the growing industrialization of Europe—barraged soldiers and civilians from land, air, and sea, producing an unprecedented nine million casualties and devastation.

Rather than presenting a chronology of events, this exhibition focuses on how artists—many of whom witnessed combat firsthand as official War Artists—represent the moods and transformative experiences particular to this global conflict. The European and American printmakers included here created an invaluable visual record of the war as conducted on the frontlines and the mobilized home front.

The role of art (particularly prints) in telling the story o,f and conveying the emotions brought on by World War I, is told through through 28 prints by British and American artists such as Muirhead Bone, Kerr Eby, Childe Hassam, James McBey, and Claude Shepperson. All of the prints come from the Frank Raysor Collection, a promised gift to the museum. Curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art.

This exhibition is dedicated to all who have been affected by war.





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