Come see the new student-curated exhibition in Davis Family Library, WWI: Here and There. Two History of Art and Architecture classes spent Fall 2022 investigating archival materials from Middlebury College Special Collections and other national archives to explore how Americans at home and abroad experienced life during the Great War.
Visit Davis Family Library to view items from Middlebury students during World War I, national propaganda, and even a replica of scarcity bread – and find additional digital components at go/here.
The exhibition highlights the porosity of the battlefield at global and local scales, challenging the myth that one can abstain from war. Though the front was thousands of miles away, Middlebury students confronted the realities of war in their everyday lives.
The exhibition emphasizes student responses to war on the homefront as well as students’ active service in the theater of war. It invites viewers to follow the lives of wartime Middlebury students, Ruth Hesselgrave, class of 1918, and Karl Sterns, class of 1915. To explore the impacts of food scarcity and conservation on women and children and the militaristic regulation of private and public space. To question the effects of wartime propaganda in the physical world, as well as its contemporary forms.
Curated by History of Art and Architecture students in States of Emergency and Art and Photography in World War I, the exhibition was supported by Middlebury College Special Collections and the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.