New exhibition explores First World War through work of renowned equestrian artistNovember 23, 2022
Ottawa, Ontario, November 23, 2022 — In an unusual twist on the types of scenes usually produced for Lord Beaverbrook’s Canadian War Memorials Fund, equestrian artist Alfred Munnings captured the activities of the men and horses of the Canadian Calvary Brigade and the Canadian Forestry Corps. Opening today at the Canadian War Museum, Munnings – War Artist, 1918 gives visitors an opportunity to learn more about Munnings and the role of both the Canadian Calvary Brigade and Canadian Forestry Corps during the First World War.
In 1918, Munnings was invited by Lord Beaverbrook to paint Canadian military forces in France, as an official war artist. This new exhibition, fresh from a recent three-year tour, features 43 paintings and three sketches documenting the service of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and the Canadian Forestry Corps. Capturing both quick-moving cavalry regiments on the Western Front, and the men and horses who harvested much-needed lumber in France, the works on view include landscapes, portraits and buildings, as well as men and horses at work and at rest.
“Munnings himself felt that his experience with the Canadian War Memorials Fund was pivotal to establishing his artistic reputation in England,” said Dean F. Oliver, Acting Vice-President and Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “This exhibition captures not only the roots of his career, but also a visual depiction of important Canadian service overseas.”
“The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation is proud to support Munnings – War Artist, 1918,” said the Hon. Max Aitken, President, The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation. “Munnings’s paintings demonstrate Lord Beaverbrook’s commitment to presenting images of the First World War that are still captivating today.”
Munnings – War Artist, 1918 was developed by the Canadian War Museum, in partnership with the Munnings Art Museum in Dedham, UK, and is generously supported by The Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation. These paintings have already been presented at the National Army Museum in London (November 2018 to March 2019), the Munnings Art Museum (March to September 2019), the Beaverbrook Art Gallery (February to March 2020), and Villa Bagatelle (June to September 2021).
Munnings – War Artist, 1918 will be presented at the Canadian War Museum from November 24, 2022 to March 19, 2023, in the Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae Gallery.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international dimensions. Work of the Canadian War Museum is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.
Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer
Canadian War Museum