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Archive for Sunday, September 6, 2009

3 new exhibits open at National World War I Museum in K.C.

September 6, 2009

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— Three new exhibits at the National World War I Museum provide a new look at the war and its influence on pop culture.

The largest new exhibit at the museum, at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial, is called “The First World War in Color.” It shows the colorful uniforms worn during that period, most of which aren’t remembered because most photos of the war are in black and white.

“It truly was a holdover from the Napoleonic era,” Eli Paul, a vice president of the memorial, said. “But it became such an impersonal, modern war. Things like this became irrelevant so quickly.”

The exhibit includes early color photographs of the war and a collection of European military uniforms donated to the museum by Joseph Touhill of St. Louis, on display for the first time.

“This stuff is impossible to find anymore,” said Doran Cart, museum curator. “I had a few pieces, but nothing of this quality.”

The exhibit runs through Sept. 1, 2010.

Another exhibit featuring Charles Schulz’s cartoon character Snoopy as a World War I flying ace runs through Nov. 29. The exhibit includes reproductions of 42 Peanuts cartoon strips, including one in which Snoopy is seen cursing the Red Baron. There also are photographs of the real Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen.

The third exhibit features Gary Cooper’s best actor Oscar for the 1941 film “Sergeant York.” Cooper’s daughter, Maria Cooper Janis, lent it to the museum after seeing Paul introduce a series of films about World War I on Turner Classic Movies on Memorial Day. Janis will be a guest during the Veterans Day observance at the memorial.

All three exhibits are included in regular admission to the museum.

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