When the Great War started in the summer of 1914, a school teacher in the Montmartre district of Paris asked his students, boys ages 8-13, to write essays and express in drawings how the war would affect their daily lives.
Opening March 21, Vive l’Amérique: French School Children Welcome their American Ally, showcases drawings and essays reflecting on the changing nature of the war, political leaders, letters to their relatives on the front line, and daily food rationing.
The students drew a range of subjects including depictions of French people enthusiastically welcoming American soldiers, these “doughboys” in camp practicing training maneuvers in Montmartre, and their daily relations with the Allies. The drawings also depict and emphasize the historical connection between France and America, dating to the American War of Independence and various expressions of the Franco-American alliance.
The exhibition will allow the viewer to see a unique perspective through the eyes of children that is rarely depicted. This exhibit will mark the first time that these pieces have ever been on exhibit anywhere in the world.
The exhibition is open until Oct. 15, 2017.