‘O Say Can You See: American Art, Propaganda, and the First World War’
Professor David Lubin (Wake Forest University & Terra Foundation Visiting Professor University of Oxford)
Wednesday 1 March
Barber Institute Lecture Theatre
Co-organised with the American and Canadian Studies Centre, University of Birmingham
Childe Hassam, Early Morning on the Avenue in May 1917 (Addison Gallery, 1917)
In the mid 1910s, American artists, photographers, and graphic designers played an engaged and sometimes controversial role in helping their countrymen decide whether to intervene in the Great War or remain neutral. Focusing on a painting by the American Impressionist Childe Hassam, which shows a panoply of Allied flags flying above Fifth Avenue shortly after the United States declared war on Germany, David Lubin considers how patriotism, religion, gender, banking, and pacifism were all called into play visually as the First World War sucked America into its vortex.
David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University and Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at Oxford University, is the author of Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-organizer of World War I and American Art, an exhibition now on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.