Slipping through almost unnoticed is an exhibit at the Wichita Art Museum, Over There, Over Here: American Print Makers Go to War, 1914-1918. It opened July 28 and runs until February 17, 2019. We’ll rely on text from the Museum’s web site to describe it:
“Historian R. J. O. Adams tells us that World War One “changed in some way the lives and futures of every man and woman on the planet.” American writer Gertrude Stein, who lived in France during the 1914–1918 conflict, characterized the abrupt cultural shift the war generated by stating that it was only after the war’s end that “we had the twentieth century.”
Over There, Over Here: American Print Makers Go to War, 1914–1918 explores the little studied phenomenon of American print makers and their artistic responses to the watershed cataclysm of WWI. The exhibition includes powerful images of soldiers on the battlefield, while also showing the effects of the war at home–including the prints of those artists in Wichita and in Kansas who artistically reflected the city’s booming aviation business in 1914 and following.
On the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of the Great War, WAM is pleased to collaborate with guest curator Barbara Thompson to reconsider the resonance of WWI–in the United States and in Wichita. Thompson is the granddaughter of Wichita printmaker C. A. Seward (1884–1939), the artist who was the driving force behind the Prairie Print Makers. In our museum’s continuing study of art in Wichita, the Prairie Print Makers and the group’s activities and impact remain very significant.
With the special WWI exhibition, Thompson has authored and produced two related publications. Over There, Over Here: American Print Makers Go to War: 1914–1918 and Wings Over the Prairie: A Brief History of the Aviation Industry in Wichita, Kansas are elegant, informative volumes with rich illustration and vital print history. They are available for purchase in WAM’s Museum Store.”
Forum on Print Collecting
Join us for a conversation with experts on collecting prints. Who better to share insights, trade secrets, and pearls of wisdom than veteran print collectors? In conjunction with WAM’s fall exhibition Over There, Over Here: American Print Makers Go to War, 1914–1918, three collectors will share the Wooden Lecture Hall stage and probe fine points involved in assembling a distinguished private collection of American prints.
The experts are key lenders to the fall show with important personal collections focusing on the renaissance of American print making in the early to mid-20th century. Jack Buschmann and Michael Drew Elder (both from Denver) will be interviewed by Over There, Over Here guest curator Barbara Thompson. Thompson is the granddaughter of Wichita printmaker C. A. Seward (1884–1939), the artist who was the driving force behind the Prairie Print Makers.
WAM is honored to once again collaborate with Thompson, a retired museum professional and art collector with formidable art historical knowledge of American print making.
Galleries open prior to the program and admission is free.
History Talk on World War I and Early Wichita Aviation: Edward H. Phillips
When the guns of August 1914 roared, their fury was felt around the world. The brutal, protracted war witnessed the first use of the “aeroplane” as a weapon of destruction. When the United States entered the conflict in April 1917, the manufacture of aircraft was in its infancy. Yet, Wichita, Kansas, was quick to offer its aeronautical services to Uncle Sam in the form of a flying school for pilots and manufacture of reconnaissance aircraft.
It was not until 1919 that the city began its rise to fame as the “Air Capital of the World,” admired and respected as one of America’s foremost hubs of aircraft design, development, and production.
Wichita also became home to a small group of aviation visionaries, whose foresight and determination drove its reputation to new heights.
Edward H. Phillips is an aviation journalist and historian with a special interest in Wichita’s role in the evolution of American aeronautics. He is the author of Wings Over the Prairie: A Brief History of the Aviation Industry in Wichita, Kansas, published in conjunction with the fall exhibition Over There, Over Here: American Print Makers Go to War, 1914–1918. Phillips has researched and written eight books and dozens of magazine articles on the development of the aircraft manufacturing industry in the city.
Galleries will be open prior to the program and admission is free.