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Exhibition Opening
Witness - Canadian Art of the First World War & Lambton at War
Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery
Sarnia, Ontario

September 1, 2017 – January 7, 2018

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Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War explores how the First World War was documented in Canadian art, both at home and overseas.

This travelling exhibition from the Canadian War Museum is comprised of deeply personal testimonies and documentary records of the conflict. With very few exceptions, the works on display in Witness are from the War Museum’s Beaverbrook Collection of War Art. They include both large canvasses completed by artists hired by the Canadian War Memorials Fund and intimate soldiers’ sketches made from behind the front lines and in prisoner-of-war camps.

The exhibition includes a number of official war art pieces by renowned artists, A. Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, David Milne, and Mabel May.


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To enhance Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War the JNAAG has partnered with the Lambton Heritage Museum to install an exhibition which spotlights Lambton’s roll in the First World War. Lambton at War explores the contributions made by the men, women and families of Lambton County who fought or supported Canada’s wars and peacekeeping missions around the world.

Upcoming Programming

The Art & Ideas series draws connections, reveals new perspectives and uncovers stories surrounding current exhibitions. Below are a few highlights – check out our website at www.jnaag.ca for a full listing of upcoming events, descriptions, and presenter biographies.

Lambton at War
Thursday, September 28 | 7:00PM | with Alec Moore
FREE I Give what you can

Canada entered the First World War when Britain declared war on Germany. This conflict is the bloodiest in Canadian history. This presentation will explore the impact of the Great War on Lambton County from the frontlines with the 70th and 149th battalions, to the tireless efforts on the home front. Men from towns such as Watford, Petrolia and Sarnia fought in the Somme, at Vimy and Ypres. After proving ourselves overseas, Canada emerged from the war as a nation–no longer viewed simply as a colony of Britain. Alec Moore is the Digital Curator at the Lambton Heritage Museum and a history graduate of the University of Western Ontario.

Fear and Panic in Human History
Thursday, October 5 | 7:00PM | with Dr. Jonathan Vance
Non-members $20 (+tax)

Fear and Panic in Human History will explore why we tend to panic in some situations but not in others, and how irrational behavior has been manipulated by the unscrupulous. History tells us that fear is not a bad thing, so long as we don’t fear the wrong things. Dr. Vance is a distinguished and award-winning professor, historian, author and frequent media commentator on historical issues. Vance is the recipient of many awards including the 1997 J.W. Dafoe Foundation Book Prize for ‘distinguished writing that contributes to the understanding of Canada’ for Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War.

In the Service of War: The Artists and Photographs of the First World War
Thursday, October 19 | 7:00PM | with Dr. Joanne Stober
Non-members $20 (+tax)

The exhibition Witness – Canadian Art of the First World War presents an opportunity to view art made during the First World War by official war artists under the auspices of the Canadian War Memorials Fund (CWMF), and by soldiers in the field. Photography became another official and important means of documenting battles, life at the front and other activities after business tycoon Sir Max Aitken, the famed Lord Beaverbrook, was granted permission to start the Canadian War Records Office (CWRO). This talk will examine the roles of the CWMF and CWRO, and the use of art and photography during the First World War. Dr. Stober joined the Canadian War Museum in April 2016 following 15 years as Photography Archivist and Curator at Library and Archives Canada. Dr. Stober took the Witness exhibition to Museum of Beaux-Arts d’Arras in Arras, France this past April to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Vimy. She is currently working on developing a documentary film series for the War Museum, and is curating two upcoming exhibitions: a Canadian Forces Artists Program exhibition and She Who Tells a Story, a photography show from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

For program and event registration, please call 519-336-8127 ext. 3226.

For more information about the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery, visit jnaag.ca or call 519-336-8127.


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