Art from World War I on display at the Frist - WSMV News 4

Art from World War I on display at the Frist

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The exhibit is on display through January. (WSMV) The exhibit is on display through January. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

In 1917, the United States fought and ended World War I in a little more than a year. A new exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts takes visitors back to that time.

Four-thousand Tennesseans died in what was once known as the “war to end all wars.” The images, words and mood of that time are now on display at the Frist Center.

When Uncle Sam made the call, 100,000 Tennesseans joined the effort to fight overseas.

New York, Philadelphia and now Nashville are the only three cities to see this touring exhibit, World War I and American Art. It includes the sometimes gruesome reminders of a war historians say we should never forget.

“Without World War I, there’s no World War II. Without World War I, there’s no Cold War. Without World War I, there’s no mess in the Middle East. And all of these things come directly from the conflict that took place between 1914 and 1918,” said Michale Birdwell, a history professor at Tennessee Tech University.

The war changed life beyond the battlefields. Trench warfare and the use of deadly gas changed men’s facial appearances on the front and at home.

“You couldn’t get a tight seal on the gas mask if you weren’t clean shaven,” Birdwell said. “Clean shaven became a matter of course.”

Tennessee had six Medal of Honor recipients, including Sgt. Alvin York.

World War I and American Art is on display at the Frist through January.

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