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.
What does the Kansas farm look like in 2018? What is life like for the fifth-generation farmer, working inherited land that has passed down over generations? What is life like for the first-generation, sustainable farmer?
Kansas Land features the recent work of two photographers, Larry Schwarm and Bryon Darby, which chronicles the life of farmers and the land they work in light of the social, economic, and environmental challenges of 2018. Both Schwarm and Darby's photographs come from larger collaborative projects sponsored by the University of Kansas.