La Grande Guerre: French Posters and Photographs from World War I


French posters and photographs in the Gelvin Noel Annex (2014)
La Grande Guerre: French Posters and Photographs from World War I, installation view at Krannert Art Museum, 2014.


On view
Aug 29, 2014 to Dec 23, 2014
Man Level, Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court

This exhibition presents objects from two important university collections—the first consisting of 105 large lithographic posters made as propaganda in support of the French war effort, and the second comprised of approximately 4,500 photographs, in all likelihood commissioned by the French Ministry of War.

The posters’ creators range from some of the best-known graphic artists of the day—such as Adolphe Willette and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen—to illustrators now completely forgotten. The posters employ an array of patriotic subjects to promote various activities, but most encourage the French populace to lend money to the war effort. The origins of the photographs remain obscure, but they document diverse military units and activities in locations across Europe.

Select programming

Opening Event and Reception for the Cross-Campus Initiative
“The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects”

Thursday, September 4 · 6–8 pm
There will be a brief talk at 6:30 pm with a reception following the program.
Gelvin Noel Annex and Link Gallery

Scholar Lecture
“The French Poster and World War I”

Wednesday, October 1 · 5:30 pm
Featuring Ségolène Le Men, professor at the Université Paris Ouest
Nanterre-La Défense
KAM Auditorium

Scholar Lecture
"En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I"

Monday, September 29 · 5 pm
Featuring Teri Edelstein, Museum Strategies, Chicago 
KAM Auditorium

Curators: David O'Brien and Pauline Parent

Allen Stringfellow, Street Smarts II, ca. 1990s. Collage and watercolor on paper. Gift of John and Dorothy Gardner. 2014-8-1
  1. Aug 30, 2018 to Mar 23, 2019
8 to Create Alumni Exhibition, 2019 promo image
  1. Jan 14, 2019 to Mar 1, 2019