The Imagined Memorial Gallery: Britain’s Aspiration to Commemorate the Great War Through Art
In March 1918, the imperative grew to memorialise the thousands of British nationals who had sacrificed their lives in the First World War. There was also a need to find ways to remember the multitudes of the missing who would never have a known grave. In response, key figures within the British government and cultural elite instigated one of the country’s most ambitious art commissioning programmes ever, managed by the fated British War Memorials Committee. This chapter explores the short history of this scheme and analyses it as a national artistic and cultural response to the First World War. It also interrogates the reasons for its demise.
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