“Johnnie Get Your Gun”: American Artists Respond to World War I

In collaboration with the Westport Library’s “WestportREADS” selection of Pat Brown’s Regeneration, Robin Jaffee Frank will explore American artists’ responses to World War I at Westport Historical Society on Wednesday. Jan. 24, from 7 to 8 pm. It remains a stark example of how far modern civilization can descend into violence. By the time the United States finally entered the conflict, Americans were acutely aware of the unprecedented casualty rates. Yet poster propaganda cajoled “I Want You,” and Norman Rockwell’s Life magazine cover reassuringly depicted happy doughboys singing George M. Cohan’s popular song “Over There.”

Famous and lesser-known American artists of all generations, aesthetic styles, regions, and political points of view developed imagery to express ideas about the imperiled world in which they lived.

Robin Jaffee Frank Ph.D., who organized the exhibition World War I Beyond the Trenches at the New York Historical Society, will discuss works of art that reflect the prolonged grief and creative attempts at healing by mourners and veterans. On this centennial of our nation’s entry into the “forgotten war,” we can choose to remember our collective history through the eyes of artists.

From 2011 to 2016, Robin was Chief Curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, where she oversaw an encyclopedic collection of 50,000 objects, and led the curatorial team through the museum’s major renovation and reinstallation. Simultaneously Robin organized the acclaimed exhibition Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008 and authored the accompanying award-winning book published by Yale University Press.

Please call (203) 222-1424 to reserve your seats; reservations are suggested.

A program fee of $10 will be taken at the door. Light refreshments will be served

Additional Information

  • Sponsor: Westport Historical Society
  • Contact Name: Barbara
  • Contact Email: bpeck@westporthistory.org
  • Website: westporthistory.org

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