A remarkable selection of photographs drawn from national and
international collections in an effort to illustrate the many important
roles that photography played during the First World War.
On view at the National Gallery of Canada
until November 16, 2014
OTTAWA, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - The National Gallery of Canada marks the
centennial of the beginning of the First World War with the exhibition The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography. On view from June 27 to November 16, 2014, the exhibition brings
together a diverse and remarkable selection of over 400 photographs
drawn from national and international collections in an effort to
illustrate the many important roles that photography played during the
First World War.
Photography's ability to capture unvarnished reality and sheer volume
made it an asset in documenting a war in which there was unprecedented
carnage and inexhaustible need.
Although photography was already being used to document armed conflict,
the First World War marked a turning point for this medium. Alongside
political and military uses of photography, the personal use of cameras
by soldiers emerged as a new phenomenon, while studio portraits and
personal albums illustrate the major role played by photography in
private life. As a whole, these visual records offer an intimate,
authentic and comprehensive view of the everyday realities of war.
Through concentrated displays of portraits, stereographs, and aerial and
panoramic views, The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography illustrates how photography conveyed the reality, the fiction, the
ugliness, and the bravery of World War I.
The first part of this exhibition chronicles the transition from peace
to war as it examines the personal importance of photographic images to
those who served. Authorized Canadian images are presented in a
re-creation of a room from the Grafton Galleries 1917 exhibition Canadian Official War Photographs in London, followed by a selection of vintage war photographs by
British, Canadian, Australian, French, and German photographers.
The dissemination of official images to the public in the form of
popular commercial stereographs is also represented, as are panoramic
group portraits of units. The strategic use of photography can be seen
in the epic panoramas of battlegrounds and aerial views, as well as in
the illustration of propaganda sheets dropped from airplanes and
balloons and later published in counter-propaganda publications that
appeared after the war.
The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography is organized by the National Gallery of Canada with the generous
collaboration of the Archive of Modern Conflict, London; Archive of
Modern Conflict, Toronto; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Australian
War Memorial, Canberra, Australia; Canadian War Museum, Ottawa; Library
and Archives Canada, Ottawa; Neil David MacDonald; Musée de l'Armée,
Paris; Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University, Toronto; The William
Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster
University Library; and Wilson Centre for Photography, London.
Ann Thomas, Curator of the National Gallery of Canada's Photographs
Collection, is the curator of The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography.
A 144-page bilingual and richly illustrated catalogue complements the
exhibition. On sale at the NGC Boutique or online at shopNGC.ca. for $39. Member pricing: $33.15.
Share Your Photos
Share your family photographs of World War I on Twitter and Instagram
with the hashtag #NGCWar
Meet the Curator
Friday 27 June at 12:15 pm. Visit The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography with Ann Thomas, Curator, Photographs Collection. In English with
bilingual question period. Free with Gallery admission.
Saturday 28 June at 2 pm. Soldier Photographers at the Centre of the Great War, by Anthony Petiteau, responsible for the photographic collections at
the Musée de l'Armée (Paris, France). In French with simultaneous
translation and bilingual question period. Lecture Hall. Free.
For the first time in history, a conflict is widely photographed by the
soldiers themselves. Their pictures raise questions about the
photographers' motivations, the conditions under which the photos were
taken and the image of war they convey.
Saturday 27 September at 2 pm. The First Popular Photography War: Soldiers' Pictures 1914-1918, by Janina Struk, Documentary photographer and author. In English with
simultaneous translation and bilingual question period. Lecture Hall.
Saturday 4 October at 2 pm. Lens above Lens: The Development & Use of Aerial Photography in WWI, by Gordon Beck, Map Specialist, McMaster University Library. In
English with simultaneous translation and bilingual question period.
Lecture Hall. Free.
Sunday 14 September at 2 pm AND Thursday 25 September at 6:30 pm. The First World War From Above, 2010, 52 minutes. The story of the Great War told from a unique new
aerial perspective. In English. Lecture Hall. Free.
Admission to The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography is included in admission to the NGC Collection. Adults: $12; Seniors
and full-time students: $10; youth aged 12-19: $6; families (two adults
and three youth): $24. Admission is free for children under the age of
12 and for Members. Free admission Thursdays between 5 pm and 8 pm and
on the following dates: Tuesday July 1st, 2014 (Canada Day), Sunday July 6, 2014 (Canada History Week), Sunday
September 28, 2014 (Culture Days), and Tuesday November 11, 2014
(Remembrance Day). For more information: 613.998.8888 or
Until October 1st, the NGC is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays
until 8 p.m. For more information call 613-990-1985 or 1-800-319-ARTS.
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About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains
Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st
century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art
exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.
SOURCE: National Gallery of Canada
For further information:
For media only: for more information, please contact:
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada. 613.990.6835 / firstname.lastname@example.org