Art or Memorial?: The Forgotten History of Canada's War Art
The Canadian War Museum possesses one of the finest
twentieth-century official war art collections in the world. Until
relatively recently, however, the collection has received limited
public attention. In Art or Memorial?, author Laura Brandon
explores some of the reasons why this may have been the case. At
various times throughout its history, the war art collection has
receded from and re-emerged in the nation's collective
consciousness. Nevertheless, as an invaluable part of the official
record of war in Canada, it is profoundly significant. Brandon
argues that the value of the collection lies less in its artistic
merit and more in its role as a site of memory. Art or Memorial?
seeks to illuminate Canadian war art's sometimes-hidden
presence in the nation's memory and to show, through both its
presence and its absence, how it helped to shape, and will continue
to influence, how we remember as a nation.
Laura Brandon is the Curator of War Art for the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. She earned her PhD in History from Carleton University.
Introduction. The Best-Laid Plans? Politics & the Memorial Art Gallery. Sculpting a New Canada at Vimy. Painting & Forgetting: The Group of Seven's War Art. Religion & Ottawa's War Art. Telling Details: Maurice Cullen & Gyrth Russell. Changing Attitudes to War Since 1945. Build-up to the Fiftieth. Responding to 1995: Reconsidering Aba Bafesky & Pegi Nicol MacLeod. Creating Canvas of War, Restoring the Vimy Sculptures. Answering Visitors' Comments: Alex Colville & Jack Nichols. Tangled Web: DND, the War Museum, & CAFCAP, 1968-95. Conclusion.