W​orld War I Beyond the Trenches​ at New-York Historical Society, May 26 – September 03, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“To honor the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I, the New-York Historical Society presents a special exhibition examining this monumental event through the eyes of American artists. World War I Beyond the Trenches explores how artists across generations, aesthetic sensibilities, and the political spectrum used their work to depict, memorialize, promote, or oppose the divisive conflict.

Featuring more than 55 artworks from the recent exhibition World War I and American Art organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the exhibition includes John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece Gassed, which has never before traveled to New York; Childe Hassam’s The Fourth of July, 1916, a recent gift from Chairman Emeritus Richard Gilder; and powerful works by George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Horace Pippin, and Claggett Wilson, among other American artists. The New York presentation also showcases artifacts from New-York Historical’s collection to provide greater historical context―such as World War I propaganda posters, a soldier’s illustrated letters, contemporary sheet music, uniforms and military gear, and a battlefield diorama with vintage toy soldiers.” ― New-York Historical Society

Installation view of section “Debating The War”

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Gassed, 1919. Oil on canvas, 90 ½ × 240 in.

Installation view of section “Debating The War”

Front: Installation view of section “Mobilization”

Installation view of section “Mobilization”

Left: James Montgomery Flagg. I Want You For U.S. Army, 1917 Poster, 29 x 39 ¾ in. New-York Historical Society

Front: Installation view of “Waging War”

Installation view of section “Waging War”

Installation view of section “Waging War”

Installation view

Installation view of section “Celebration and Mourning”

Installation view of section “Celebration and Mourning”

Installation view

Installation view of World War I Posters

“Americans All” Celebrating and Mourning Posters

Front: Gas mask, United States, 1917-19. Back: Infantry uniform, United States, 1918-19, Nursing Uniform, United States Army, 1917-19. Backdrop: Soldiers passing through Château Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres Salient, October 29, 1917.

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919, 2014. Charcoal pencil on paper mounted on archival board, 28 x 284 x ½ in. (overall). Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Museum Purchase, 2017.4. This installation depicts 212 soldiers in a photograph from the artist’s grandmother’s collection. The images appear as a memorial to this African American unit, which included Priestly’s great uncle.

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919 (detail), 2014

Debra Priestly (b. 1961). somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918- 1919 (detail), 2014

World War I Beyond the Trenches, the New-York Historical presentation, was curated by independent curator Robin Jaffee Frank, with Mike Thornton, New-York Historical’s associate curator of material culture. WWI and American Art will next travel to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee.