Exhibition. The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War

National World War I Museum, Kansas City, MO
November 3-March 6, Research Level Gallery

A University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art collection will be on exhibit at the National World War I Museum, November 3, 2015 – March 6, 2016. The exhibit focuses on the crucial role of nursing in the first world war. Emergency medical practices evolved enormously during the war years (1914-1918) and thousands more medical workers were involved than in previous wars. New and innovative practices included blood transfusions, the use of antiseptics, local anesthetics, and painkillers. Throughout the War, membership in the American Red Cross grew from 17,000 to more than 20 million and 20,000 registered nurses were recruited for military service. In the United Kingdom, 38,000 members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment served in hospitals or worked as ambulance drivers and cooks.

The collection is drawn primarily from a gift of over 3,000 works donated to the Spencer Museum of Art by Eric Gustav Carlson. Click here for more info about the collection.

 “At first we could cope; then we were overwhelmed by their numbers. They came in the hundreds, from all directions; some able to walk, others crawling, dragging themselves along the ground.” —Florence Farmborough, Red Cross nurse with the Imperial Russian army at Gorlice on the Eastern Front.

To learn more about the exhibit, go to: spencerart.ku.edu/exhibitions/second-battlefield

Adrienne Landry Dunavin is a member of the Kansas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee and is the primary administrator of KansasWW1.org. She worked at the KU Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies as their Outreach Coordinator from 2010-2016. During that time she served on the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration Working Group. She continues to volunteer as a representative for CREES and KU WWI on this blog.