It has been said by many historians that “art and war are old companions.” That old adage is on full display in Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial reopens this Monday, June 1 for members and the following day for the general public.

The museum, which “holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world,” began amassing artwork and ephemera from the First World War in 1920. Nearly 20 countries and former empires are represented in the current collection, with many of these artifacts never being put on display until now.

In a pair of special exhibitions, the museum is unveiling 100 Years of Collecting and 100 Years of Collecting — Art to provide “the opportunity to view diverse works collected in the past century from across the world.”

Both exhibitions are open to the public from June 2, 2020–March 7, 2021.

 

  • Watercolor on board, “World’s Heavyweight Champion,” 1915, artist unknown. The piece was done after the sinking of the Lusitania, May 7, 1915, showing Uncle Sam with a black eye and cuts, but rolling up his sleeves ready for a fight.
  • German painting by Karl Ahoff of a cavalry patrol and an airplane, showing the juxtaposition between the old mounted warfare and the new aerial warfare, 1917.
  • Oil painting by Kansas City artist Daniel MacMorris of Sergeant Ian MacGregor, Canadian Highland Regiment, who attended the site dedication of the Liberty Memorial on Nov. 1, 1921.
  • Painting by Percy Moran, 1923, nephew of famed landscape artist Thomas Moran, of General John J. Pershing at the Tomb of Lafayette.
  • Oil painting by French artist Edmond Lesellier of a scene of a devastated landscape with a French artillery caisson and limber with horses and crew, 1918.
  • German painting, “Der Angriff” (The Attack) by Otto Mack, 1918.

*All photos courtesy of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.