Hope and Fear

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Photo courtesy Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook’s permanent collection serves as a treasure trove of artistic gems, and the newest exhibition in the spotlight comes from inside it. Hope and Fear commemorates the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I with authentic posters and lithographs.

To fully understand the exhibition, one must first analyze the name of the exhibition itself.

“We want guests to explore the power of propaganda from two sides of messaging: hope and fear,” says Jeff Martin, communications manager at Philbrook.

With that sentiment in mind, the opposing segments of the show make a cohesive artistic unit.

Hope and Fear vividly illustrates two opposing approaches to this conflict,” says Martin. “One gallery includes the pro-war posters while the second features the deeply disconcerting War Series lithographs by George Bellows.”

The nationalistic, pro-war posters and propaganda suddenly become sinister when juxtaposed with the dark and tragic lithographs depicting the consequences of the U.S.’s choice to go to war.

“These highly pained scenes illustrate Bellows’ personal take on the atrocities German soldiers inflicted upon the innocent civilians of neutral Belgium,” Martin says.

The show runs until Nov. 12. Visit philbrook.org for details.

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