Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Ask Smithsonian About 1918 Influenza Art

The June issue of Smithsonian includes a question about art relating to the 1918 Influenza pandemic. The question and the answer are included in their entirety as follows:

Q: Did painters living during the 1918 influenza pandemic portray the experience?

Chase Carter | Washington, D.C.

Some, but not many, documented their personal experiences with influenza: In 1918, the Austrian artist Egon Schiele sketched his wife, Edith, and his mentor Gustav Klimt, both of whom succumbed to the flu. Schiele died from it soon after. In 1919, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch created self-portraits during his illness and after his recovery. Robyn Asleson, a curator at the National Portrait Gallery, says the American artist John Singer Sargent was painting a mural in Europe when he came down with the flu. The 62-year-old recuperated in a French military tent, which he rendered in his 1918 watercolor The Interior of a Hospital Tent. He wrote of “the accompaniment of groans of wounded, and the chokings and coughing of gassed men, which was a nightmare. It always seemed strange on opening one’s eyes to see the level cots and the dimly lit long tent looking so calm, when one was dozing in pandemonium.” ...read more

WWI on C-SPAN3, May 28 – June 3

Several programs on C-SPAN3 coming up on WWI, including a few taped at last November’s symposium at the National World War I Museum and Memorial (MWWIMM), and others taped at Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. All times are Central as usual.

In fact, if you turn to C-SPAN3 right now (2:00 p.m. Thursday May 28), there are a few programs on now until 7:00 p.m. You can see programs on Psychological Impact on World War I Pilots, American Artifacts: The Lost Battalion, World War I Railroad Operations, American Artifacts: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, and Domestic Unrest During & After World War I. ...read more

American Pandemic

I’m sure you are a bit weary of seeing the word “pandemic” just now, but comparisons to the Spanish flu pandemic ought to provide a teaching moment.

A few weeks ago Jim posted an item about the pandemic, and used the quote often attributed to Mark Twain: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” I recently read Nancy Bristow’s American Pandemic about the Spanish flu, and the comment often ran through my head. ...read more

Sled Dog Soldiers

In recent years there have been several films made about animals in the First World War. Some examples are A Bear Named Winnie (2001), War Horse (2011) and Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018). Sled Dog Soldiers (2012), which was produced for television in Canada and France, also belongs on this list. ...read more

Pandemic Isolation Projects

During this pandemic isolation period many of us have found extra time on our hands. Recently I learned from the Western Front Association (WFA) of two worthwhile volunteer efforts that World War 1 researchers and students are working on. These are called Project Alias and Project Hometown. ...read more

ANZAC Day Dawn Service Cancelled

Ever since 1934 a memorial ceremony has been held at dawn on April 25th to commemorate the service of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. You can read about this in an earlier post by clicking here.

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, on March 17th the governments of Turkey, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand agreed to cancel this year’s activities. Since it is only appropriate to observe ANZAC Day on ANZAC Day, there will be no observance at Gallipoli in 2020. You can read more about this from a British perspective here and from a Turkish perspective here. ...read more

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