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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  October 18, 2014 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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copper. throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring green bay, wisconsin. our cities tour staff recently traveled there to learn about its history. to learn more about green bay and other stops on c-span's city store, go to www.c-span.org /localcontent. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums, and the storage sites around the country. next, we visit the president woodrow wilson house in washington, d.c., which was home to the 28th president and his wife edith after they left the white house. a wilson house exhibit features a brown university collection of world war i paintings. and other artworks. they helped shape public opinion
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over the three years that america remained neutral in the conflict. finally, in 1917, president wilson led the nation into what was hoped to be the war to end all wars. >> welcome to the president woodrow wilson house here in washington, d.c. this home was finished in 1916 and was the home to which the president and mrs. wilson moved the very day that they left the white house. march 4, 1921. both of them lived here the rest of their lives. president wilson had three more years. he died early in 1924. amazingly, his widow, edith, lived until 1961 in this home, and had a front seat in american history during that entire time. in our collection, we have a large number of gifts of state that were given to the president and mrs. wilson. one reason is because of the pivotal role that the president had in ending world war i. it was 100 years ago that world
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war i broke out. president wilson faced two crises in his life. one was the outbreak of war. whenbegan august 2, germany invaded belgium, violating belgium's neutrality and provoking other nations to declare war against each other, and really begin the war. and just four days later, his wife ellen wilson died. as first lady, in the white house. she suffered from a kidney ailment that today is curable. but in our time, it was fatal. time, it was fatal. president wilson faced a nation and a world that was very different than ours. the united states had become the largest world economy by 1900. but still not thought of as a major diplomatic or military power.
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in 1914, the united states had the 12th largest army, sharing the position with greece and serbia. all three countries had armies numbering 200,000. by the end of world war i, in 1918, the united states had an army of 4 million men in uniform. and fully 2 million were in europe. it is remarkable to think that during that time, we have assembled such an army and were able to transfer half of it to the battlefields of europe as a decisive influence in that conflict. from the outset of the war, americans were troubled and confused about america's role. there were some who thought we ought to get involved. they were in obvious minority. there were many who thought we should not be involved at all. president wilson stated a -- staked out from the beginning a position of american neutrality. i think he hoped the united states could play a role in brokering a peace, serving as a mediator, and even when his wife was on her death bed, he was writing a note, signing a letter to kaiser wilhelm of germany and
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king george v offering to mediate the dispute. it is remarkable to think of the personal turmoil that wilson was embroiled in during this time. we have an exhibition of world war i art on display this summer through august 10. and it's timely to have this. and it is poignant to have an exhibition of this sort. we talk about world war i, those of us who study it know that there were 17 million people killed in that conflict. it was a tragedy of proportions really as yet unexperienced by humanity. the engines of the industrial revolution were turned horribly to the destruction of cities and death of combatants. they were very efficient in what they did. and so, we see world war i as an event on a huge scale, and yet, the tragedies were individual. i look at the exhibition
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downstairs and i see the individual faces of combatants or those tending to them, and see the tragedy of the war as a very human scale, a very personal scale. i think that is a remarkable thing to take from the exhibition. one of the images that i find most telling, most touching, is called "good-bye, old man." it shows a world war i soldier cradling in his arms the head of a horse, obviously his horse, who has been mortally wounded. the artist conveys the great affection and reliance between the soldier and his animal. these images are from the first part of the war, when the soldiers were all european. it is likely that this horse came from the farm with the soldier. they had known each other for years.
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at the same time he is saying goodbye to this dear friend, one of his colleagues is up the road urgently summoning him. you can see artillery shells exploding nearby. probably one of which had wounded the horse. so there is an urgency and a sadness to that image that i think especially captures the tragedy of world war i. for that soldier and for that time. that is one of the reasons that particularly glad to have this exhibition at this time. >> hello. my name is stephanie dr. d -- dockerty. i'm the associate manager and curator at wilson house. welcome to our gallery. today we have an exhibition covering the first two years or -- of world war i. this image is derived from the brown university library collection. the exhibit consists of 32 drawings, prints, and watercolors in this collection. here we have a map that highlights some of the battles
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between 1914 and 1916. here is the battle of the somme. the exhibition features artists of different nationalities. so it is truly a visual representation of the war from multiple perspectives. what is unique about this exhibition is that many of the images you see were drawn from the pens of the soldiers themselves, as well as for the illustrated press. so, while modernism and abtract art were gaining popularity in the early 20th century, what you will see here is more images, representational art more similar to those of the 19th century. because of this a lot of this , work has been overshadowed by the official artists who accompanied the troops to the front. because most of these images appeared in the illustrated press, these got the most public
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exposure during the war, particularly among europeans but a couple also reached america. no doubt it influenced public opinion. i want to speak a little bit -- about the brown brown military collection. mrs. brown started collecting artifacts in the 1930's. she amassed an extensive collection of military prints, collection of military prints, toy soldiers, manuscripts, maps relating to the war. in 1981, mrs. brown donated her collection to brown university. it still remains there today as a great repository of military art and artifacts. let's start out with some of her toy soldiers she collected. here we have lead toy soldiers
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depicting different nationalities found in world war i. we have the italians up in front. the french soldiers in the middle. and then german cavalry as well as german officers. mrs. brown started collecting toy soldiers on their honeymoon to europe in the 1930's. many of these were made in a factory in dresden, germany. the factory was bombed during world war ii and no longer exists. she amassed a collection of 5000 toy soldiers. of which you only see a small representative. ranging from ancient egypt to the 1950's. let's now go and see some of her print works. here was some examples of the printed work in the anne brown collection. this is by a french artist. he was well-known for depicting horses in racing scenes. in this watercolor, the artist
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britishured a drab convoy of horse-drawn wagons as it moves slowly along a dirt road. this is noteworthy for the depiction of horses and the covered wagons, reminiscencent of a 19th-century battle. we also have a telegraph to pr opel us more into 20th century technology. this is one of my favorite pieces. as a representative of many of the things we want to convey. the juxtaposition between 19th-century strategy and tactics alongside 20th century technology. this image appeared in a pictorial newspaper in november, 1917. it seems almost to be a metaphor for the entire war itself. as these men seem to disappear
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into oblivion. many people associate the poppy with the tragedy of world war i from 1916-1918. the poppy was immortalized in "in flanders poem, field." john was a medical officer in the canadian army. one of his dear friends fell in 1915. he was on the back of an ambulance and he looked out and saw a cemetery covered in poppies. this prompted him to write this about -- to write a poem the death and destruction he saw during the war. today, you will see thousands of people wearing poppies, especially in britain and the
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commonwealth, during armistice day or remembrance day, which are november 11. most of the artists in this exhibition were either the soldiers themselves, newspaper artists or studio artist. here we have an example of a professional academic artist who never visited the front. an imaginary scene. it depends men of the gloucester regiment walking through the town. as you can tell, the town has been totally destroyed by the fighting. in fact, the entire town had to be rebuilt in the 1920's. in this picture, we see three german cavalrymen sitting on barrels, playing cards. their horses await battle in the background. the feeling is quite sobering as these men and their horses await their turn in battle. about 8 million horses died during the war effort. here we have a very poignant
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scene by the french artist fournier. it depicts a station. you can see a red train waiting outside, along with many wounded soldiers and other soldiers waiting their turn in line for battle. little is known about this artist. it is likely he was a soldier or sent by the illustrated press. during this time, photography had not totally eclipsed the graphic art in newspapers. many publishers were sending people to depict what they were seeing, as opposed to sending photographers. many of these artists did not go by their own name. they used a pen name or their initials. this would be an example. in the bottom right-hand corner, f that a small motiv reminds us of "good-bye, old man." it appears to be a horse on the ground, and we see the outlines of wagons and troops leaving him behind.
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here we have a unique print that is unlike others in the exhibition. it really concentrates on the spirituality of the war. many people that would have been seeing these images were seeking consolation for what was going on at the front. here we have a priest who is himself a soldier. he still has his spurs on. he is clearly putting the robe over his uniform. we have other soldiers surrounding him in makeshift altar with a cross and candles here. they seem to be preparing to receive communion. in the background, we see hundreds of other soldiers that seem oblivious to what is going on. this is an imaginary scene. and frankly, it's unrealistic of what was going on on the front.
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this is a lithograph by the british artist griffin hagan. again, this was a negative image that was deemed unsuitable for the war effort. it would not have had as much public exposure as other propaganda pieces in this expedition. -- exhibition. here we have a british medical officer attending to a wounded soldier. blood dripping down under his bandage. he still clutches his rifle. this petition artist was an academic and was not a soldier during the war. this is a color print by the british artist wiley. this artist was very interested in perspective. he had previously been depicting british naval battles, but with the invention of the aircraft, he soon became intrigued with aerial warfare. in fact, he ascended in a hot air balloon so he could note the natural curvature of the landscape. here he's depicted an aerial view.
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-- of ypres. the names on the gold matte replicate what was on the original frame. it gives you a sense of space. this is the battle of jutland, which occurred -- was fought on the north sea in 1916. boydwe have buoyed -- cornwall, who was on the hms chester. his comrades have fallen in battle. however, he gained recognition for staying at his post awaiting orders even as those fell around him. this image was used as propaganda to inspire patriotism in other englishmen. cornwall, who was only 16 years old, received the victoria cross.
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this is one of the few works that focuses on an individual who we know their name, and really inspired heroism among other soldiers and civilians. here we have french troops, french colonial troops from north africa, overpowering german soldiers. we see the river marne in the background. this is in a fan shape, which is unique. this artist, lorenzi, was well-known for depicting art deco fashions. this was atypical of his work. the battle of marmes was fought in early september, 1914. stopped the german offensive into france.
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the french haven't forgotten that the germans annexed als ace -- also slurring -- alc sace-lorraine during the franco prussian war. this artist was a children's illustrator. he produced many anti-german propaganda pieces like this one. here we have a french soldier carrying a german border and leading german soldiers out of france and away from his hometown. this scene depicts the german officer and then potentially the kaiser and prince along with german troops approaching the bed of a french woman. this cartoon is a metaphor for the rate of belgium. -- rape of belgium. many rumors of german atrocities reached europe and america. in fact, england ordered the bryce commission to investigate
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these alleged atrocities. this was drawn by a war correspondent known as sem during world war i. he also designed war bond posters and published albums from 1916 to 1918. we see two french soldiers awaiting their turn in line to receive soup. rations were a big problem in the trenches and dugouts. many soldiers suffered from starvation. there were frequently times of food shortages. here we see the artist has only colored in two soldiers. but we see the outlines of many soldiers. that could be a metaphor for the numerous mouths that needed to be fed. though many of the images in this collection depict
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hand-to-hand combat and specific battles, i am taken by ink and wash trawling by anton sussman an austrian artist. , i'm amazed at the level of detail he was able to convey in such a small work. this depicts a young soldier who closes his eyes for a few minutes. he is away from the battlefield. he has found a natural shelter or he has dug his own with his bayonet. because much of the fighting was -- fighting involving the was in the alps, staying warm was a major concern. this soldier has a small blanket and he's done his best to cover his body. we see the large fur boots to attempt to keep his feet warm. this image was probably created for an austrian newspaper or magazine.
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it would have received public exposure. above we have an ink drawn from the same artist, the austin -- austrian artist sussman. it depicts a soldier accepting a mug of water from a woman. this simple drawing reminds us that civilians had a role to play during the war effort. this is the only image in the exhibition done by a turkish artist. turkey did join the special -- central powers in the great war, and fought mostly in the middle east. this caricature shows a turkish soldier smiling at his austrian ally as he cuts down a miniature figure of his russian enemy. we see that there are multiple russians in line to be cut down.
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this is another one of my favorite images from the exhibition. it was done by the swiss artist munden. to really get a sense of the 19th century versus the 20th century. here we see cavalrymen mounted on their horses and galloping past a dilapidated house. they all seem to be heading in the direction of these three planes. one has been shot down. perhaps the other two are hovering over their kill. it exemplifies the juxtaposition between 19th-century warfare and 20th century warfare. haveounted cavalry could been a scene from many of the previous wars, like the civil war. however, it is the depiction of the airplanes that truly makes this a 20th century war. this hand to hand combat reminds
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us of previous wars. this is a very intimate depiction as we see the expressions on each of the soldiers' faces. the artist was a popular children's cartoonist. this particular group of french -- of the french army helped break the stalemate in the french alps. the title translates to "the blue devils." this is another poignant scene from an italian artist. this is the same artist who drew "good-bye, old, man," which we saw earlier. this is a funny depiction. we see a german officer staring at a small boy and his mother. as they walk away, the boy turned around and sticks his tongue out at the german officer.
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the title is called "the strongest." which is kind of a play on words. who is the strongest? is it the german soldier or the belgian or french boy? to end the stalemate on the western front, the british introduced tanks on a limited basis during the somme offensive of 1916. this etching depicts the first tank. unfortunately, many suffered mechanical failure or were put out of action by enemy fire. however, this image foreshadows the type of technology that would be used in future wars. the british artist pierce drove south and entered the war zone. for four days, he was able to move about without any trouble. this depicts an eyewitness account. as he was driving, he stopped to depict the scenes that were unfolding before his eyes.
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this depicts the british naval division as a town was about to fall in october, 1914. it is only the second month of the war. here we see british soldiers as well as civilians side-by-side. they were refugees. this image reminds us that not only did many soldiers die during the war, many civilians were displaced. due to the fighting. here we see women and children bringing only what they could carry. we get a sense of uncertainty on their faces. here we have three french prisoners of war by a dutch artist. this is particularly notable, as the artist had the most public exposure in america. fact, many of his images were
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published in america, and then he also published depictions after americans entered the war in 1917. we notice barbed wire and we see a german troop standing guard. this epitomizes the boredom and hopelessness and despair that was prevalent in the pow camp. according to one source 8 , million men surrendered during the war. of these, 2.5 million were held captive by the germans. american, the average president wilson would have learned information about the war through similar images to the ones in this exhibit. they may have swayed his opinion one way or the other. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] tothe cities tour travels u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. we partnered with time warner cable for a visit to green bay, wisconsin. america'sknown as dairyland, because we make the most cheese, but also the best cheese. we make the best cheese. each farm family made cheese for their own use. it was recognize that we had an ideal environment for raising dairy cattle. cheese was really just a way to take that perishable product, the milk, which before refrigeration one only last if you makedays -- cheese out of it, a cheddar cheese can last for a decade. this was late 1880's, when the industry got started in wisconsin.
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generally, farmers in the neighborhood would form a cooperative. they would hire a cheese maker, and the cheese maker would work for the cooperative in shares. there were thousands of them. 1830, over 2000 cheese plants in wisconsin. as transportation and the road system improved, it was consolidation of the smaller plants, and that continued until about 1990, when there were only about 200 cheese factories in wisconsin. 2008, i was looking at torture and the war on terror. i realized some of the techniques we were using for the war on terror appear in our prison system. some of these odd connections between overseas policies and domestic policies. i started looking at what was happening in the criminal
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system, and that led me to start teaching in the criminal system, and that led to another book. psychologists and psychiatrists have studied what happens to a person, and they develop these very distinctive -- one psychologist calls it the shoe syndrome. horrible paranoia. real aggressiveness. the sense that you are disintegrating. you hear people, about the bodily harm they do to themselves. door.ces they put on the this deterioration of your whole sense of self. i am going to damage my body. i do not have strong empirical it makes people
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better. i have anecdotal evidence, people i talk to. i see it as more of a spiritual thing with these inmates. it is very difficult to measure the kind of spiritual effects of feeling valued. >> watch all of our events from green bay today at noon eastern on book tv, and sunday on american history tv. >> september 2014 marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of lake champlain. british forces attempted to invade new york, but were defeated by the newly established american naval fleet. coming up next on american history tv, the cofounder of the lake champlain maritime museum. he tells the story of the battle and explores how underwater archaeology reveals more about the events. crown point state historic site in new york hosted this event. it's an hour and 15 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome
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