Fig. 1: War print from John Moody woodcut
There are only a limited number of ‘The Great War: As Recorded through the fine and popular arts’. They are available on an exclusive basis to members of the Western Front Association courtesy of ex WFA Chairman David Cohen, Judith Cohen and Liss Fine Art.
Fig. 2: The front cover of the book
This 300-page catalogue was published to support an exhibition held at the Morley Gallery in the autumn of 2014. It is much more than a catalogue though, more a rich compendium of art works relating to the First World War: prints, posters, postcards, oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, sketches from trenches, battleships and the air, photographs, stereoscopic photographs, sculptures and ceramics … even a design for a stained glass window.
This is an intelligent collection, lovingly curated and presented with insightful comment on the role art played and has played in remembering ‘The Great War.’
‘War does not purify, it intensifies - that’s all. The material man becomes more material, the spiritual man more spiritual, and the true artist more passionately an artist.’
This quote comes from Charles Lewis Hind (1924) was chosen by Sacha Llewellyn, one of the exhibition’s curators and authors of this collection. It is apt as it sums up the beautiful and thoughtful choices made here: each artwork is remarkable in its execution; the variety shows the emotional response to the war, the reality and propaganda, the humour and human side, the inner mind and spirituality, the every day and the remarkable. The authors are a little apologetic that the emphasis here is on British Art, with some French and German examples: a product of the provenance of these items from the British Isles.
There are over 150 pieces featured by some 100 artists, here are some of them:
Fig. 3. John Moody (1906-1993) War, 1928, the original woodblock, 3 x 4 in. (7.6. x 10.2 cm)
Fig. 4. Percy Jowett (1892-1955) England (triptych), c.1918, tempera on board, 25.2 x 29.9 in (64 x 76 cm) overall
Fig. 5 Réne George Hermann-Paul (1864-1940) Calendrier de La Guerre (2ème année). Coloured woodcuts. Published by Librairie Lutetia.
Fig. 6 A female Mark I tank crossing No Man’s Land. Lithographic reproduction from the series of war drawings published by Country Life, 1917. Muirhead Bone (1876-1953)
Fig. 7 Portrait of a Private, 1916, signed and dated, Watercolour over charcoal on paper, 10 x 14 ¾ in. (25.5 x 37.5 cm) Percy Horton (1897-1970)
Fig. 8 Luftschiff Zeppelin L724 (RAF Museum)
Fig. 9 Commemorative ware: British bulldog wearing a Steel Helmet and equipment, 1917, China, height : 6 1/2 in. (15.5 cm), length 8 in. (20 cm).
Fig. 10 Bairnsfather Ware (Fragments from France), teapot, 8 x 6 1.2 in. (20 x 16.5 cm), Transfer reads; “Dear … ‘At present we are staying on a farm.’”
Fig. 11 William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) A nice conclusion. Pen and Ink, 17 x 10 in. (43 x 25.5 cm)
Fig. 12 Reginald Alexander Warneford Attacking Zeppelin LZ-39, signed Gouache on card 16 x 12 in. (30 x 28 cm) Raymond Sheppard (1913-1958) Between 1934 and 1958 Raymond Sheppard illustrated well over 100 books.
Fig. 13 Stereoscopic print: HRH the Prince of Wales discussing cinematography with Mr. Girdwood 3 ½ x 7 in. (9 x 18 cm), published by Realistic Travels.
Fig. 14 Official photograph taken on the Western Front. D 2114. 'The Battle of the Bridges. Telegraph wire going up for No Man's Land. Signallers on the way to establish communications. Black and White photograph.
Fig. 15 The artist Muirhead Bone at work
As a special offer The Western Front Association is able to offer the limited available copies of the book for £10 +P&P of £5 (UK Only).
Copies will also be available for purchase at the joint WFA/Gallipoli Association Conference on 26/27th September, stock allowing.
Provide postal address for delivery with your cheque for £15 made out to the Western Front Association, to the:
BM Box 1914
WC1N 3 XX
Order through the WFA shop.