World War I & The End of Empires, Spencer Museum of Art

June 30, 2014 – April 5, 2015 | Gallery 401, Empire of Things
Excerpt from the exhibition introduction: “The First World War (1914-1918) involved not only many nations, but also many of the world’s Empires, including the Austro-Hungarian, British, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires, the French Colonial Empire and the Empire of Japan. In the wake of the industrial revolution “The Great War,” with its new machines of destruction and the enormity of the resulting death tolls, brought about a seismic shift in human consciousness. While this was not the end of “The Empire of Things” as a framing concept, World War One forever changed our notions of modernity and realigned the political map in ways that continue to impact us today.

One of the richest collections of World War I era art in the country can now be found at the Spencer Museum of Art, thanks to a generous gift of more than 3,000 objects from longtime friend of the Museum Eric G. Carlson. This exhibition, on view in the Empire of Things, includes select French paintings from this gift.

The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has been a national leader for the study of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since 1959. The center is an active member of the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration coordinated by the European Studies Program.