Laura G. Waters '19, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
Civil War Era Studies
This paper examines the artists sent to the Western Front under Britain’s official war artists initiative. The government sought to utilize artwork for propagandistic purposes, and to foster emotional connection between civilian and soldier. However, the growth of the initiative to include some ninety artists complicated this. The experiences of the artists and the truths revealed to them by the conflict were vastly different, and examination of them as a whole does little to elucidate the character of the war itself. What this paper seeks to do, therefore, is examine three artists - Sir William Orpen, Lieutenant Paul Nash, and C.R.W. Nevinson – as individuals. In moving away from aggregated narratives and comparing this small group, the importance of subjectivity in memory and representation becomes clear. By returning individuality to a crowded, multitudinous narrative, war can be seen as it truly is: a unique experience for all involved.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Waters, Laura G., "Paintings of War, Museums of Memory" (2017). Student Publications. 553.