Exhibition focuses on Artists Rifles in the First World War

Artists Rifles badge. Photo credit Artists Rifles Association

Badge of the Artists Rifles

Artworks produced by members of the Artists Rifles – 28th (County of London) Battalion of The London Regiment – will be the focus of touring exhibition in Hampshire this April focused on the Centenary of the First World War.

The event will take place between April and December 2014 and will provide a comprehensive look at the artists, their work and the battalion itself.

Picture 100

John Nash: study for Over The Top

Famous artists

More than 60 works of art will be on display – many of which have been loaned by the UK’s leading museums and art galleries including the Imperial War Museum, the Royal Academy, the Arts Council, and the British Council Collection. The exhibition will also feature objects loaned by the regiment, such as uniforms, medals and other memorabilia.

The Artists Rifles was created in 1859 and its founding members included Edward Burne-Jones, Lord Leighton, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Ford Maddox Brown. Work from all these artists will be included in the exhibition.

Salisbury Plain Resting 1914. Photo credit Artists Rifles Association

Members of the Artists Rifles on Salisbury Plain, 1914

Heavy losses

Some 5,000 men applied to join the Artists Rifles in the first week of the First World War and more than 14,000 recruits passed through the regiment between 1914 and 1918.

The Artists Rifles lost 2,003 killed, 3,250 wounded or gassed, 532 missing and 286 prisoners of war.

During the First World War the regiment became an officer training corps. The poets Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas and artists Paul and John Nash were all members of the regiment.

The exhibition will focus on a wide range of soldiers’ work during, and after, the First World War. This will include paintings, sculptures, postcards and cartoons, as well as readings from poems and letters.

Dates and venues

4 April to 28 June, Southampton City Art Gallery

5 July to 27 September, Sainsbury Gallery, Willis Museum, Basingstoke

4 October to 29 December, Gosport Discovery Centre

To find out more about the exhibition click, here

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