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Exhibitions

The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography

27 Jun 2014 - 16 Nov 2014

Prints, Drawings and Photographs Galleries

Although earlier wars had been documented through photography, the First World War represented a significant turning point for the medium.

Related projects  |  Related events  |  NGC Magazine article

Although earlier wars had been documented through photography, the First World War represented a significant turning point for the medium. The official photographs reflect the planning, censorship and continuous need to generate public support for the cause. Meanwhile, the Allied Forces and Central Powers chose to use photography as a tool with which to develop strategy, spy, provoke and persuade. In sharp contrast to the political and militaristic use of the medium was the undeniable importance of its personal use, seen in the popularity of studio portraits of soldiers and their family members, as well as personal albums composed prior to, during and after the war to create permanent records of lives that were at risk. This exhibition brings together a diverse and remarkable selection of photographs drawn from national and international collections in an effort to illustrate the many important roles that photography played during the war.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada with the generous collaboration of the Archive of Modern Conflict, London; Archive of Modern Conflict, Toronto; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia; Canadian War Museum, Ottawa; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa; Neil David MacDonald; Musée de l’Armée, Paris; Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University, Toronto; The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library; Wilson Centre for Photography, London

Related projects:

Share Your Photos
 

Share your family photographs of World War I on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #NGCWar
 
Twitter: @gallerydotca
Instagram: @ngc_mbac
 
IWM (Imperial War Museums)

To mark the First World War centenary, IWM (Imperial War Museums) in the UK is piecing together the stories of the 8 million men and women from across the Commonwealth  who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Share your knowledge of Canadians’ contributions to WWI on IWM’s Lives of the First World War at www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org.

Radio-Canada

Learn about Canadians’ participation in WWI on Radio-Canada’s website 14–18: La Grande Guerre des Canadiens. Share your own family’s WWI stories at ICI.Radio-Canada.ca/1418 (in French).

 

William Ivor Castle (Great Britain, 1877–1947),<br />
<em>Stretcher Bearer and German prisoner dressing wounded Canadian at capture of Arleux</em>(detail)<br />
April, 1917, printed 2014, ink-jet print, 106.4 × 106.4 cm. <br />
Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (e011068416).

William Ivor Castle (Great Britain, 1877–1947),
Stretcher Bearer and German prisoner dressing wounded Canadian at capture of Arleux(detail)
April, 1917, printed 2014, ink-jet print, 106.4 × 106.4 cm.
Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (e011068416).