War & Art:
Destruction and Protection of Italian Cultural Heritage during World War I
Opens Friday, April 10, 2015
Photo: Possagno in the province of Treviso, transportation of the gypsum statue of George Washington by Antonio Canova after the museum was bombed, 1918.
The First World War broke upon the world without precedent. The tragedy involved not only human casualties but also the damage and destruction of cultural heritage, including works of art and architecture. This photographic exhibition illustrates the Italian people’s struggle to protect their cultural patrimony from the ravages of war. Poignant images display efforts to sandbag and board up architectural and artistic treasures. Prompted by the destruction of World War I, the League of Nations created the International Museum Office to oversee the protection of material culture in the global community. One hundred years later, these photographs not only document early preservation efforts, but have also become works of art in their own right. They remind us of an enduring struggle that transcends time and cultures: to save the highest expressions of the human spirit from the destruction and savagery of war.
This exhibition has been organized by Istituto Per La Storia Del Risorgimento Italiano, Roma and the Embassy of Italy, Washington D.C., with support from the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago.
“We very much wanted to bring these images to Washington, DC. To honor the memory and commitment of those who a century ago, as done today in many areas of conflict, defended beauty and culture from the horrors of devastation. It’s a story that must not be forgotten. I hope that many representing the younger generations will go and see the exhibit at the President Woodrow Wilson House, which bears the name of a leader who built peace.”
-The Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero.
Current Exhibition (December 3, 2014- March 8, 2015)
The Art of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson – American Impressionist
Please click here for more information about this encore exhibition!
Past Gallery Exhibitions
Images of the Great War: The European Offensives – 1914-1916
World War I Prints and Drawings from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library
The President Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, DC
(April 2014 – November 9, 2014)
“The Art of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson – American Impressionist”
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut
(October 5, 2012 – January 23, 2013)
Morris Museum, Augusta, Georgia
(March 9, 2013 – May 5, 2013)
The National First Ladies’ Library, Canton, Ohio
(November 14, 2013 – May 16, 2014)
Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum, Rome, Georgia
(July 1, 2014 – November 1, 2014)
“Woodrow Wilson, The President Electric”
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, Staunton, Virginia
(October 2013 – March 2014)
Artifacts from the President Woodrow Wilson House collection
are currently on display in exhibitions at:
The Wilson Center, Washington, DC
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch, Iowa
The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, Wytheville, Virginia