Work by one of the most famous artists of the First World War is on display at the museum; part of our new special exhibition – Created in Conflict. Two paintings by Christopher Nevinson feature in the exhibition, which explores the various motivations for artistic output during war.
Visitors to the museum will be able to see CRW Nevinson’s ‘The First Searchlights at Charing Cross, 1914-1916’ on loan from the Leeds Art Fund, and displayed publicly for the first time in five years, and ‘Rain and Mud after the Battle’ on loan from Sheffield Museums Trust.
Museum visitors can chart the process of creating art, and developing artistic skills, starting with the need for accurate reconnaissance mapping and draughtsmanship skills, moving to art as a weapon, a way of passing the time during long periods of enforced inactivity, as memorial and as a way of dealing with the trauma of war. Created in Conflict also includes a gallery of watercolour paintings by Mike Claydon, a medical officer currently attached to the Yorkshire Regiment.
Nevinson was one of a group of official war artists which included Paul Nash, Sir Stanley Spencer and John Singer Sargent; some of the best, and occasionally avant-garde, British artists of the time.
The exhibition also draws on the museum’s own extensive collection of creative work, bringing a whole range of sketches, watercolours, diagrams, cartoons and paintings together with selected poetry and prose.
“With our special exhibitions, we always try to challenge perceptions of what people may expect to see from a military museum’s collection,” explains Lynda Powell, Director of The Green Howards Museum. “This exhibition is no different. Curating the objects and researching the themes for Created in Conflict has been a joy. We are displaying an incredibly broad selection of work spanning several centuries, created for a range of reasons and with differing motivations; some of which have never before been on public view. The addition of art by a serving soldier, as well as the significant loan of the Nevinson works adds even more layers to the creative story we are telling here.”
Created in Conflict runs until 31 March 2023. The museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm.