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William Orpen and W.W. I <br />(Literary Digest, 1923)William Orpen and W.W. I
(Literary Digest, 1923)
In the immediate aftermath of the First World War there were many eye witnesses to the slaughter who refused to remember it as a "Noble Struggle". The chubby and comfortable fellows who ran the British Government couldn't have known that the society portraitist William Orpen was one of these witnesses - but they soon found out when they commissioned him to make a pretty painting depicting all the pomp that was taking place at Versailles...

Artist Jacob Epstein Drafted... <br />(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1918)Artist Jacob Epstein Drafted...
(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1918)
In 1918, the London-based American expatriot sculptor Jacob Epstein was living life to the fullest and enjoying all the benefits his talents had provided him. He had no intention of joining the army of his adopted country and had successfully avoided the draft since the outbreak of the war. However in 1918, conscription caught up with him. Epstein hated the idea of joining the colors, believing that the military would kill his creative soul, but this article puts a nice spin on all that.
C.R.W. Nevinson: Futurist on the Front <br />(The Great War, 1918)C.R.W. Nevinson: Futurist on the Front
(The Great War, 1918)
Attached you will find a segment from a longer article reviewing the W.W. I paintings of C.R.W. Nevinson (1889 - 1946). Trained by the Italian Futurist Severini, Nevinson made some of the most modern images of all the World War One artists:

"C.R.W. Nevinson with unerring eye penetrated to the man behind the khaki and deliberately unveiled the son of toil. The hands of the foremost figures may be exaggerated (but probably not), and in any case they emphasize the essential truth that these men belong to the horny-handed class. They may not be beautiful, but they are strong..."

Click here if you would like to read a 1922 article about C.R.W. Nevinson.

Muirhead Bone at the Front <br />(Times Literary Supplement, 1918)Muirhead Bone at the Front
(Times Literary Supplement, 1918)
A book review covering a collection of drawings by one of the Official War Artists, Muirhead Bone (1873 - 1953). The book was titled, and it is not surprising to read that it was published by Country Life. The reviewer was not at all impressed with the artist's renderings of, what was at that time, the most dangerous place on planet earth:

"In these drawings Mr. Muirhead Bone has resolutely refused to become a journalist. He has not allowed the novelty of his subject-matter to affect his treatment. There he differs from Mr. Nevinson. Mr. Nevinson in his pictures of the war is not a journalist but at least an illustrator."

Nonetheless, Sir Douglas Haig wrote a supportive introduction to the book. Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) found his drawings to be highly inaccurate at best.

Butcher Bill Paid by the French Arts Community <br />(Literary Digest, 1917)Butcher Bill Paid by the French Arts Community
(Literary Digest, 1917)
"Three hundred and fifty French artists, among whom are painters, sculptors, engravers, and architects, have paid the extreme price of their devotion to country and are counted with the dead."

W.W. I Art and the Canadian War Memorial <br />(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)W.W. I Art and the Canadian War Memorial
(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)
An illustrated article from the chic Conde Nast magazine, VANITY FAIR, regarding one of the great Canadian disappointments of the immediate post-war years: the failure to build the Canadian war memorial building. By the summer of 1919 1,000 paintings and drawings depicting the experiences of the World War had been amassed with the intention of displaying them in a museum that was to serve as a remembrance to the Canadian servicemen of that war.

Throughout the Twenties and Thirties there were numerous advisory groups charged with the task of launching the museum, but they were never able to agree on key issues. With the outbreak of the Second World War the urgency of the project took root - and, finally, the Canadian War Museum was officially established in 1942 (and opend in 1967).

There are two paintings illustrating the article: "Camouflaged Ships" by E. Wadsworth and "Strathcona Horse on the March" by A.J. Munnings.

FRANCE AROUSED: Created by Jo Davidson <br />(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1917)FRANCE AROUSED: Created by Jo Davidson
(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1917)
An illustrated article about the American sculptor Jo Davidson (1883 1952) and his creation, FRANCE AROUSED. The Davidson piece, a colossal depiction of France as an outraged warrior queen, was intended for the French village of Senlis to serve as a memorial to that remarkable day in September, 1914, when the German drive on Paris was stopped and driven back. It was at Senlis where the earlier successes of the German Army were reversed.

"To those in America and Europe who believed in the new doctrine of political equality, it was the most thrilling day in her history."

"When France in wrath
Her giant - limbs
upreared,
And with that oath,
Which smote air,
Earth and sea
Stamped her strong
foot and said she
Would be free."

The statue, which is twenty feet high, was made in the sculptor's studio in McDougal Alley (NYC), where it was photographed for the pages of VANITY FAIR.

In 1919, Jo Davidson would endeavor to create a number of busts depicting the various entente statesmen who participated in the Peace Treaty.

World War I Pictures by British Artists Seen in America <br />(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)World War I Pictures by British Artists Seen in America
(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)
The attached VANITY FAIR art review by Christian Brinton (1870 - 1942) covered the first public exhibition of the British War Artists to be shown on American shores (1919):

"A direct product of war and war conditions, it reflects not only the varied aspects and incidents of the great struggle, but but also the actual state of British artistic taste at the present moment...England has been the first to enlist the services of the artist, and the readiest to grant him the measure of official standing so manifestly his due."

Launched jointly by the British Ministry of Information and the Worcester Art Museum, the exhibit was comprised of almost 250 paintings. This review discusses the art of Paul Nash, Muirhead Bone, Sir John Lavery, James McBey,Sir William Orpen, Augustus John, C.R.W. Nevinson, John Everett, Frank Brangwyn and Eric Kennington.

Drawings of the Soissons Trenches <br />(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1915)Drawings of the Soissons Trenches
(Vanity Fair Magazine, 1915)
French war artist Charles Huard (1875 - 1965) produced theses seven illustrations of French Poilus as they once stood guard in the frozen misery of the Soisson trenches during the first winter of the war.

Huard's experiences as a war artist can be read in his memoir: My Home In The Field Of Honor (1916)

Joseph Cummings Chase: Soldiers All <br />(Rob Wagner's Script, 1942)Joseph Cummings Chase: Soldiers All
(Rob Wagner's Script, 1942)
Joseph Cummings Chase (1878 - 1965) was an American painter who's name is not likely to be associated with World War I artists but, like Sir William Orpen, he had a comfortable place within fashionable circles and he, too, was commissioned to paint portraits of the anointed within his nations military establishment. This article appeared in 1942 and primarily concerns the W.W. I portrait that Chase painted of Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur during the closing days of the war:

"Joseph Cummings Chase is without doubt one of the world's greatest portrait painters, and as luck would have it, he was in Paris when World War I began, at which time the Government commissioned him to paint the Distinguished Service Cross men, both enlisted men and officers, wherever he could catch up with them; some in dugouts, some in trenches, and some behind the lines."

Click here to see a few trench war images by German Expressionist Otto Dix.

Click here to read a 1942 article by Rockwell Kent on the proper roll of American artists during wartime.

The Future of War-Artists <br />(Literary Digest, 1917)The Future of War-Artists
(Literary Digest, 1917)
Just as the American poet Walt Whitman once remarked concerning the American Civil War - that "the real war will never make it into books", so goes the thinking of the ink-stained wretch who penned the attached column regarding the efforts of the Official War Artists during W.W. I - who attempted to render accurately the horrors of war. Such genuine indecency could never allow itself to be duplicated into a two or three dimensional format.
Gaudier-Brzeska <br />(Literary Digest, 1916)Gaudier-Brzeska
(Literary Digest, 1916)
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891 - 1915) was an avant-garde sculptor of the Vorticist school. Prior to the war he resided in London and broke bread with the talented Bohemians of that burg, and this article is composed of snippets of text from a remembrance written by his close friend, Ezra Pound.

To read more about Gaudier-Brzeska, click here

Wars Affect the Art of a Nation <br />(Literary Digest, 1916)Wars Affect the Art of a Nation
(Literary Digest, 1916)
Various musings concerning the influences that war has had on art through the centuries are discussed in this article, with particular attention paid to the historical belief that wars are won by those nations that host the more vibrant and original arts communities.