Art and the Aftermath of War: Painting, Memory and the First World War in the Dominions

Event details

SDSC War Studies Seminar

Date & time

Monday 08 April 2019
6pm–7pm

Venue

APCD Lecture Theatre, Ground floor, Hedley Bull Building #130, corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra

Speaker

Dr Margaret Hutchison

Contacts

Mitch Clyne

The emergence and development of government directed art schemes during the First World War in many belligerent nations formed part of a larger mission to collect war records to celebrate and preserve the experience of the conflict. This seminar focuses on the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand art programs, which were born from ideas circulating among Dominion politicians, artists and officers in London about how to commemorate the war.

Each of these nations amassed a collection of official paintings to be displayed at home as a lasting memorial of the war. Yet, while Australia’s collection retains a central place in the Australian War Memorial’s First World War exhibitions, the Canadian collection has only very recently found a permanent home in the Canadian War Museum, and the New Zealand collection languishes in the basement of Archives New Zealand. This seminar explores the creation and intended use of First World War paintings in these Dominions, tracing the fate of each collection in the aftermath of the conflict as a way of examining the process of memory making and the politics at play in the commemoration of the war in art.

Margaret Hutchison is a lecturer in the School of Arts at the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane. Her research focuses on the history of war, culture and memory. Her first book, Painting War: A history of the Australia’s First World War art scheme, was published with Cambridge University Press in November 2018. She is also co-editor of a forthcoming collection of essays, Portraits of Remembrance: Painting, Memory and the First World War, which will be published with the University of Alabama Press in 2019.

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