ashmolean

Exhibition/Display Details

Lest We Forget: Commemorating the Great War

20 May 2014 to 23 Dec 2014

This display commemorates the First World War as evidenced in coins, medals and banknotes.

On display are commemorative and campaign medals struck to commemorate the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Aerial Bombardment of London, the Sinking of Lusitania, amongst other events. We also show emergency money struck during the war, prisoner?of?war tokens, and paper money issued for the use of the troops.

The Great War not only pitched countries against each other – it also put artistic styles at loggerheads. Commemorative medals from different countries in Europe demonstrate this clash very well.

The artistic influence on French and Belgian medals came mainly from Art Nouveau of a ‘classicized’ kind. It was decorative and sentimental in its choice of depiction. On the other hand, the militarist ethos of Germany made adoption of such ‘decadent’ style distinctly unpatriotic. German medal-artists chose Expressionism, to bring out the brutal realism of the war.

Gallery 7 | Admission Free | More Info