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Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture

November 11, 2014–April 12, 2015
The Wolfsonian–FIU @ 1001 Washington Avenue

The First World War was radically unlike any earlier armed conflict. On the occasion of the centenary of the start of the war, Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture showed how artists, designers, and filmmakers responded to the unprecedented qualities of the war: new technologies, from aircraft to chemical weapons to tanks; the massive mobilization of armaments industries on the home front; the grinding everyday experiences of soldiers in trenches; and the immense scale of destruction that the war entailed.

The exhibition focused on the role of myth in giving comprehensible form to the shattering realities of the war, and on the relationship between humans and machines as a key theme of wartime visual culture. Among the paintings, sculpture, posters, books, and photographs included were many rare and unique items that offered an unfamiliar view of a conflict that changed the world.

In tandem with Myth and Machine, The Wolfsonian also presented Intricate Pattern Overlay on the museum's exterior; A Fatal Pass: Entrenchments on the Alpine Front in the lobby; and The Children’s Crusade, a display organized by The Wolfsonian Library.