WWI exhibit at Miami wants you

Travel Channel spotlights local art museum.

To commemorate a hundred years since the United States entered World War I — on April 6, 1917 – Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park will showcase its latest exhibition titled, “Over Here, Over Here! U.S. Propaganda and the Arts of World War I.”

An opening reception and program is set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 6. The exhibition will remain on display through May 13.

The 100th anniversary U.S. entrance into WWI Special Commemorative Program at 7 p.m. Thursday will feature Valerie Elliott, manager, Smith Library of Regional History, Lane Libraries and Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park, who will reflect upon this critical time in American History. The program will highlight the war’s impact on the nation and on Oxford, Ohio.

The exhibition, “Over Here, Over Here! U.S. Propaganda and the Arts of World War I,” will feature a collection of original propaganda posters, including J.M. Flagg’s iconic poster, “I Want You for U.S. Army (Uncle Sam),” as well as original songs and song sheets illustrated by the likes of Norman Rockwell. The exhibition will reflect on local war efforts, allowing the viewer to learn about what was happening in and around the Miami/Oxford community at the time.

Sherri Krazl, marketing and communications coordinator for Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park said Flagg’s iconic “I Want You for U.S. Army (Uncle Sam)” poster is also the focus of a recent Travel Channel episode, which featured Miami University Art Museum on the “Mysteries at the Museum” television show. They interviewed our Curator of Exhibitions Jason Shaiman about the poster and the origin of Uncle Sam.

I think that’s why they chose us, because we had the piece, it was original, and it was going to be on display during the time of the spring episode, Krazl said.

“It was exciting for them to reach out to us, and have them want to come to us, and it was fun to work with their crew,” she said.

The “Mysteries at the Museum” episode is scheduled to air four times on the Travel Channel, including an airing on April 6 at 7 p.m. This is the first time that Miami University Art Museum has been featured on national television.

Miami’s segment of the episode covers the community, the museum, a little bit about the museum, a few of the pieces within the collection as well as a focus on the Uncle Sam poster.

“That poster still stands the test of time as being one of the most iconic and important posters in history,” said Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions.

The exhibition itself features about 100 different pieces and includes selections from the Miami University Art Museum collection; the University of South Carolina’s Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection; the National World War I Museum; Miami University and The Western College Memorial Archive Collections; and the collection of Celia Malone Kingsbury. Two additional exhibitions will be going on at the same time, including “Prints and the Great War” and a “Student Response Exhibition.”

“April 6 marks the day of the 100th anniversary commemoration of when the US enters World War I…This was an opportunity to reflect upon this milestone anniversary, and the importance of the posters, song sheets and other forms of propaganda as art and communication, and it was a perfect opportunity to present it to the university,” Shaiman said.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

How to go

What: “Over Here, Over Here! U.S. Propaganda and the Arts of World War I” exhibition

Where: Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park, 801 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford

When: Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 6. Works will be on display through Saturday, May 13. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Parking passes are available at the museum.

More info: www.MiamiOH.edu/ArtMuseum or at www.Facebook.com/MiamiUniversityArtMuseum

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