DES MOINES – A State Historical Museum of Iowa traveling display, the “World War I Honor Roll,” that features thousands of names and corresponding photographs of Iowans lost during World War I will be on exhibit Sept. 5 to Dec. 2 at the Corning Center for the Fine Arts in Corning.
In 1920, the State Historical Society of Iowa collected photographs from Iowa families who lost loved ones during the war. It sent out another call for photographs in 2017 to shore up its official records during the war’s 100th anniversary. The display is the result of that research – and a tribute to a generation of Iowans who sacrificed their lives to the cause of freedom.
The list of Iowan casualties includes Merle Hay of Glidden, who was among the first Americans to die during the war, and Wayman Minor of Centerville, who was among the last. The first U.S. servicewoman to die during active duty in the war was Marion Crandall of Cedar Rapids, who also lived in Davenport.
The display will open in conjunction with a special art installation piece of more than 3,576 poppies resembling “In Flanders Fields” that will be installed around the Veteran’s Memorial in Central Park. The specific number of poppies represents each of the fallen soldiers during World War I. A special tribute for this art exhibition and poppy installation art will be held 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Corning Opera House to commemorate Veteran’s Day. “These Fallen Friends” remembrance program will include a special tribute to all veterans in attendance.
In addition, the Corning Center for the Fine Arts will host a special exhibition by Michael Wilson Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. The exhibition’s collection of 12 paintings commemorates the World War One Centenary. Eleven of the paintings speak specifically to the hour, day and month of the Armistice. The “plus one” painting of “Swords, Pens and Plowshares” is a historical genre piece that alludes to the upcoming Second World War.
Inspired by vivid descriptions of battle found in his uncle’s World War I diary, Wilson created 12 paintings for this special art exhibition. Wilson adopts the aesthetics of early 20th century photography by painting in sepia tones to suggest the photographic technology of the World War I era.