Pennsylvania Academy Of The Fine Arts To Open Groundbreaking Exhibition Exploring World War I

Fascinating war-incited works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Horace Pippin, Norman Rockwell and more...

Next year marks the centenary of our nation’s entry into World War I and in its honor, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) debuts a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the ways in which American artists reacted to this impactful period of the early 20th century.

World War I and American Art will be the first major exhibition devoted to studying how American artists viewed the First World War, kicking off at the museum on Friday, November 4 and running through April 9, 2017.

Exhibition Fast Facts

  • World War I and American Art will be on display November 4-April 9, 2017.
  • The exhibition will feature approximately 160 works by 80 different artists.
  • Works represent a broad variety of viewpoints and include paintings, sculpture, photographs, posters and more.

Around 160 works by 80 different artists will examine the war’s monumental impact on art and culture at the time.

(Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)
The exhibition includes 160 works by 80 different artists and numerous high-profile loans, including artist John Singer Sargent’s Gassed. 

Following a chronological order, World War I and American Art is organized around eight themes that explore perceptions and experiences surrounding WWI’s movement towards the U.S., succeeded by artists’ direct involvement as soldiers, relief workers, political dissenters and beyond, and finally the war’s aftermath on art and society as a whole.

The Exhibition

World War I and American Art features works that span a wide variety of mediums, encompassing paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, photographs, posters and ephemera. As many as 80 artists will be represented, including well-known artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Horace Pippin, Norman Rockwell and many more.

A small selection of art by contemporary artists who have explored World War I will also be on display, as well as works from living military veterans in Philadelphia’s Warrior Writers program.

(Detail of Horace Pippin's The Barracks | The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC)
Coinciding with the centenary of America’s involvement with the war, World War I and American Art will be the first major exhibition devoted to exploring American artists’ response to the First World War.

The exhibition is organized around eight themes, taking viewers through the war time chronologically. Exhibition viewers begin during a tension-filled time just before the U.S. joined WWI and continue through to the war’s conclusion and beyond, ending with a look at the devastating toll WWI took on soldiers, hospital workers, women and families as well as on cities destroyed in the heat of the battle.

World War I and American Art will be on display November 4 through April 9, 2017, coinciding with the centenary of America’s involvement with the war. Access to the exhibition is included with regular museum admission ($15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $12 for youth 13-18, free for kids 12 and under, military personnel and PAFA members).

Get ready to join PAFA as it revisits one of the most impressionable times in American culture in the first major exhibition of its kind.

World War I and American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

When:November 4-April 9, 2017
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), 118-128 North Broad Street
Cost:Included with admission; $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $12 for youth 13-18 and free for kids 12 and under, military personnel and PAFA members



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  1. I have a hand painted banner from WW1 used in a veterans returning home parade in Easton, PA in 1918. The most incredible part of the story is how I found this banner and the fact my grandfathers name is on the list of returning veterans. If anyone is interested is seeing a jpeg of this banner and the whole story behind it please contact me at the email address indicated. Thank you for your time.

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