‘Accurate to the point of mania’: eyewitness testimony and memory making in Australia's official paintings of the first world war

Journal article


Hutchison, Margaret. (2015). ‘Accurate to the point of mania’: eyewitness testimony and memory making in Australia's official paintings of the first world war. Australian Historical Studies. 46(1), pp. 27 - 44. https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2014.996574
AuthorsHutchison, Margaret
Abstract

The collection of official war art housed in the Australian War Memorial has played an important role in shaping a memory of the First World War for almost a century. This article explores the importance of eyewitness testimony in the production of war paintings for the Memorial's collection during the interwar years. Focusing on the repainting of official artist Harold Septimus Power's canvas Saving the Guns of Robecq, it explores the reasons why - in the inevitably contested construction of memory - Charles Bean and John Treloar privileged veterans ' memories over artists' interpretations of the conflict. It argues that in the process of memory making aesthetics mattered less than portraying the war in a way acceptable to the men who had experienced it.

Keywordswar art; memory; First World War; eyewitness testimony
Year2015
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Journal citation46 (1), pp. 27 - 44
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1940-5049
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2014.996574
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84923884225
Page range27 - 44
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationAustralia
EditorsK. Holmes
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/87v2w/-accurate-to-the-point-of-mania-eyewitness-testimony-and-memory-making-in-australia-s-official-paintings-of-the-first-world-war

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