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Serbia, War and Poster 1914 - 1918
A Story of Three Posters, Three Authors and Three Aid Campaigns for Serbia

10 - 31 May 2017

Opening ceremony: Wednesday, 10 May 2017, 7 PM
On the occasion of the exhibition inauguration, a concert of the American orchestra Wings of Dixie and the Belgrade Chamber Choir will be organized at the Park of Vojvoda Vuk at Topličin Venac, in front of MAA, at 6 PM.

Author of the exhibition: Vladimir Čeh

Organizers: Institute of Advertising History and the Museum of Applied Art

About exhibition

A concert by the American Dixieland orchestra the Wings of Dixie and the Belgrade Chamber Choir, in the park in front of the Museum of Applied Art, on Wednesday 10 May, at 6 PM, will open two exhibitions of posters: Serbia, War and Poster 1914–1918 and Posters by Milton Glaser from the Collection of the Museum of Applied Art.

The exhibition Serbia, War and Poster 1914–1918: A Story of Three Posters, Three Authors and Three Aid Campaigns for Serbia is the third part of the trilogy by Vladimir Čeh dedicated to posters in the Great War. The third exhibition deals with the promotional campaign Help Serbia..., conducted by the Allies – France, Great Britain and the United States, during World War I.

The general audience is not familiar with historical facts, the organization of actions, the ways of collecting aid and the most successful authors of posters used in this campaign. The three most important posters from the three Allies were designed by Théophile Steinlen for France, Malvina Hoffman for the United States and Sampson Chernov for the Great Britain. All of the authors cherished Serbia and produced other works inspired by Serbia – drawings and photographs.

The exhibition presents four original lithographs by Théophile Steinlen (prints made 100 years ago) and seventeen replicas that feature the term ‘Serbia’ in the title. The process of creating the poster La journée serbe is also displayed. The poster was based on the original Steinlen’s oil painting held by the Louvre – a detail of the painting was used for the poster.

The exhibition segment dedicated to Samson Chernov presents his lesser-known works, replicas of the coloured portraits of the famous Serbs of the time. The portraits, as well as a number of other motifs, were done by Chernov in oil on canvas. In fact, he ‘coloured’ them based on his black-and-white photographs. The exhibition also reveals the “development” of his most famous work, the symbol of the Serbian army, the portrait of the soldier known as the Eagle’s Eye.

In the segment of the exhibition dedicated to Malvina Hoffman, her drawings made while travelling in Serbia with the US Red Cross in 1919 and the historiographic facts related to her efforts to help Serbia in the Great War found in the Getty Institute in Los Angeles will be presented to the public for the first time.

The exhibition also shows the artistic process that led from a photograph of a dying Serbian soldier on the island of Vido made by the Serbian war reporter Miloje Igrutinović to the application of his image in Malvina Hoffman’s famous poster Serbia needs your help.

The second segment of the exhibition draws attention to the French, British and American campaign undertaken with the same goal: to ensure aid for Serbia in the countries where the image of Serbia was positive (France), neutral (USA) or negative (Great Britain). Has anything changed in the communication with this population in the past 100 years? If yes, what has changed and how has it changed?

The exhibition raises the following points of interest and issues:
  • Why was a replica of a sculpture by the famous American artist Malvina Hoffman placed on the tomb of a Serbian Great War colonel at the Novo Groblje cemetery?
  • How did it happen that a photo of the crimes committed against Serbian women published in the French newspapers and immortalized on Steinlen’s lithograph served as the model for the figure on the Serbia medal, the reverse of which bore the inscription: "France, France, do not leave me!"?
  • The author who designed posters with two soldiers lived in two countries and communicated in two languages – French and English.
  • Samson Chernov, the author of the illustration on the British poster was also the author of the most famous image of the Serbian soldier in World War I, known as the Eagle’s Eye.
  • How did it happen that Serbia became a link between an artist from the United States and a war reporter from Russia, the author of a poster designed in Great Britain, and hoe did they come to work together to help Serbia;
  • How did it happen that the image of a soldier in a boat carrying him to the place of burial, the Blue grave near the island of Vido, in the photo of a Serbian war correspondent served as the model for the image of Serbia in an American poster, which was subsequently used as the model for the image of St Francis in the sculpture placed in front of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA?
  • A sculpture was created in virtual reality, and based on it, with the help of a 3D printer, a bust of St Francis was made in the real world, in Belgrade’s centre.
  • The VR sculpture displayed at the exhibition is also part of the world premiere of the VR ALL ART (Art in a Virtual World) initiated while preparing this exhibition
A concert by the American Dixieland orchestra the Wings of Dixie and the Belgrade Chamber Choir

Author of the photographs: Veselin Milunović