Tuesday 31 July 2007
War art goes online
Archives New Zealand has just released their online War Art database.
The War Art site puts the National War Art Collection of approximately 1500 works online - searchable (warning: selecting the 'advanced search' option when you're on an image record page seems to take you through to Archway, Archive's collection database), browse-able (although I wish there was an easy option to browse by artist name), tag-able (Web 2.0) and over all, elegant and interesting.
Whatever you can say about the quality of the art, this online resource is immensely useful. But the thing that I found most entrancing isn't one of the images.
On the 'What is War Art' page, Archives have loaded up two newsreel clips: 'War Artist ... Introducing Captain Peter McIntyre' and 'Artists in Uniform'. The latter is especially fantastic.
In it, Russell Clark introduces a 1944 exhibition of war art, and we are given 'candid reactions' from the crowd. But the real guts of the short clip lie in the question Clark is asked: What do New Zealanders think of artists? You've got to check it out for yourself.
Russell Clark, Assault course, Linton, c.1943-1944. Ref #: AAAC 898 NCWA 138. From Archives New Zealand's War Art website.
Peter McIntyre, Blood transfusion in desert dressing station, c.1941-1943 . Ref #: AAAC 898 NCWA 171. From Archives New Zealand's War Art website.
Allan Barns-Graham, Daily ration party, September 1943-1944. Ref #: AAAC 898 NCWA 92. From Archives New Zealand's War Art website.