FROM MARCH TO JUNE 2017 - ARRAS MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
The War through the eyes of the authorities and the ranks.
The First World War marked a turning point in the history of Canada. To mark its centenary, the Arras Museum of Fine Arts is proud to present Witness - Canadian art of the First World War, a touring exhibition by the Canadian War Museum. Sponsored by national presenting sponsor, TD Bank Group, this highly evocative exhibition offers the opportunity to admire paintings and drawing on show for the very fi rst time, and to discover how, a century ago, art was used to document experiences in a time of war and to portray those experiences to families and the general public.
The Witness exhibition reveals how Canadians - both offi cial war artists and troops on the ground - used the medium of art to express their experiences of the First World War, both at home and overseas. Many of the works constitute profoundly personal testimonies; others are documentary drawings, executed for the express purpose of recording military activities. Presented in four themes, the exhibition illustrates the artists’ response to their environment and underscores the importance of art in depicting the harsh realities and consequences of war.
With just a few exceptions, the works on show in Witness are taken from the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art held at the War Museum. They include not only very large canvases commissioned from artists during the War - through the Canadian War Memorial Fund - but also personal sketches executed by servicemen behind the front lines and in prisoner-ofwar camps. Works by well-known artists such as Alexander Young Jackson, Frederick Varley and David Milne exemplify offi cial war art. A large number of personal drawings and paintings executed by artist soldiers unknown to the public were held in private family collections until they were gifted to the War Museum. This is the fi rst time they have been placed on public display.
Guided visit (Maximum of 25 persons per group)
A touring exhibition organised by the Canadian War Museum.