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Art Thu Jul 31 2014

UofC to Mount Exhibit of French Graphic Illustration & World War I

GB-REG_En-Guerre_Cover.jpgThe first "great war" commenced 100 years ago this summer when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The University of Chicago will observe the beginning of World War I with an exhibit of French graphic illustration of the period, opening October 14 at the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery on the UofC campus.

En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I draws from illustrated books, magazines and prints to show more than 100 artistic views of the war. Patriotism, nationalism, propaganda and the soldier's experience are explored through fashion, humor, music and children's literature. The art was part of the mobilization of the French national home front.

The exhibition will include the work of artist-illustrators like Raoul Dufy, J. E. Laboureur, Fernand Léger, and André Lhote, many of whom served at the front. They presented the story of the French soldier or focused on the dress and behavior of allied soldiers--especially American and British soldiers.

The exhibit is being organized by Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein. Harris is professor of history and art history emeritus at the University of Chicago. Edelstein is an art historian and museum professional whose scholarly work focuses on the intersection of high art and popular culture. Both have written several books and recently collaborated to write The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age, published by The University of Chicago Press.

They point out that World War I, like no other conflict before it, "was a war of images. Its scale, duration, and intensity were brought home to the public by media and technologies that, in some cases, were well established, but in others seemed novel and even startling. Films, photographs, lithographic posters, illustrated books, prints, postcards, many in huge quantities, were part of an international propaganda effort that had few parallels before or since. It offered special opportunities to artists with established reputations and rich possibilities for those just beginning their careers."

En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I will run from October 14 through January 2 at the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 E. 57th St. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 4:45pm, and Saturday, 9am to 12:45pm, while classes are in session. Consult this link for holiday hours. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public. An associated online exhibit will be available in October at lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/enguerre.

Catalog cover for "En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I", Chicago: The University of Chicago Library, 2014.

 
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Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
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Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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