Witnessing War: Marking 150 years since the birth of John McCrae

Witnessing War, a new exhibition at Guelph Civic Museum, is the first in a series of initiatives to commemorate 150 years since the birth of Lt. Col. John McCrae. An esteemed doctor, soldier and poet, McCrae is remembered for his wartime poem “In Flanders Fields,” which he wrote from the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, around 3 May 1915.

McCrae was a keen observer of people and places. In addition to his letters and poetry, he created many sketches over his lifetime.

Although the poet McCrae is often celebrated, Witnessing War takes a closer look at his drawings, in graphite and ink, many of which are held in Guelph Museums’ collection. Considered together, McCrae’s poems and drawings offer an impression of his inner solitude.

Shaped and inspired by McCrae’s creative expressions, Witnessing War features drawings, paintings and sculptures by local and national artists, spanning 100 years of art as a salve to war.

The exhibition includes art works made in response to the six global conflicts in which Canada has fought: South African War (1899-1902), First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945), Korean War (1950-1953), Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), and Afghanistan War (2001-2014).

Visitors to the museum can view the exhibition until December 4. Information regarding admission, hours, programming, and COVID-19 guidelines is available at guelphmuseums.ca.

Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk Street. It is physically accessible.

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Posted by Julia Busatto on May 4, 2022

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