Marcel Jeanjean. Sous les cocardes: scènes de l'aviation militaire. Paris: Hachette, 1919 Historical Children's Book Collection
The heroic pilot of Jeanjean's Sous les cocardes represents France. Thus, he flies symbolically under the blue, white, and red of the tricolor circular cocarde. But he literally flies under it as well: it decorates the wings of his plane. World War I was the first in which aircraft were used extensively, mostly for reconnaissance. But in 1914 the French were the first to fire a machine gun from a plane. Children in postwar France must have been thrilled to identify with the exploits of the masters of this new machine and their role in the victory. Image permissions: ©2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
The exhibition is on view in the Special Collections Research Center Gallery from October 14, 2014 - January 2, 2015.
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. when classes are in session.
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The centennial of the outbreak of World War I is an occasion for historical commemoration. Many of the decisive scenes of the Great War were enacted in the military theaters of the battlefield, but the impact of mobilization brought a significant social change to the home front as well. En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I explores one of the most important of these cultural theaters of the war, the contest to influence public opinion and shape loyalties in one of the principal Allied powers. This exhibition examines a group of French artists whose work vividly expressed the partisanship, horror, valor, and absurdities of the war. Alternately promoting and critiquing the official narratives of the conflict, these French illustrators left an eloquent record of the ironies of the great international struggle and the uncertain rewards of victory.