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The Children’s Crusade

December 1, 2014–March 15, 2015
The Wolfsonian–FIU @ 1001 Washington Avenue

During the First World War, children of all ages were targeted by propaganda designed to instill patriotism and provide them with a sense that their contributions were also important to the war effort. Education pamphlets, coloring books, nursery-rhyme books, games, and juvenile literature were published to reach young audiences, while musical scores, magazines, and posters used images of children to motivate adults to action.

This installation, a presentation by The Wolfsonian Library, brought together ephemera and other items from the museum’s collection to reveal how the national agenda was messaged to youth, with varying degrees of transparency—wartime politics, in the end, packaged as playtime.

The Children’s Crusade coincided with The Wolfsonian’s major exhibition Myth and Machine: The First World War in Visual Culture.