During the centennial of the Great War (1914-19), the National World War I Museum and Memorial will host a series of special exhibitions, programs and events to commemorate the first global war in history. Highlights of the Museum's offerings are below. Visit the Museum's Upcoming Events page for specific programs.
Special Exhibition: May 6, 2016 – March 12, 2017
Mud and mayhem, death and destruction, staggering unnecessary losses. All aptly describe the two pivotal battles of 1916, the Somme and Verdun. The attack by British and French forces was meant to break the Western Front stalemate. It did not. This exhibition sheds light on the personal side of the conflict. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: April 5 - Oct. 2, 2016
American volunteer organizations contributed immensely to the well-being and welfare of the American men and women serving the American military in WWI, but also to peoples in the war-torn countries around the globe. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: March 29 - Oct. 9, 2016
World War I brought radical changes in society, art and culture. The exhibition focuses on the art and events of the first two years of the Great War featuring artists from eight different countries. Learn more.
Special Online Exhibition
Created in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, Make Way for Democracy! portrays the lives of African Americans during the war through a series of rare images, documents and objects. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: Dec. 15, 2015 - March 27, 2016
What happened to the world's largest painting? The exhibition explores the vast fragments of the Panthéon de la Guerre left behind by Daniel MacMorris – the majority having never been seen in public since the Panthéon's last showing in its entirety in 1940. Learn more.
Symposium: Nov. 6-7, 2015
Explore the rising tensions in America and the globally escalating conflict that defined the world in 1915. Follow the trajectories of different countries around the world as the conflict escalated to total war, including fighting in the colonies and East Asia, stalemate in the West, Churchill’s disaster at Gallipoli, mobilization at home, and the polarization of American society around the issue of war. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: Nov. 3, 2015 - March 6, 2016
This exhibition of predominantly French WWI artwork aligns with the quasi-myths of wartime nursing as described by author Christine Hallett: the courageous voluntary aid detachment, the romantic nurse and the “nurse-as-heroine.” Learn more.
Special Display: Oct. 6 - Nov. 11, 2015
More than 9 million combatants from the belligerent nations died in World War I, the largest number of any conflict in world history to that time. The World Remembers is an international education project whose purpose is to remember and honor these combatants who perished, for each year of the war, by displaying their names in more than 100 locations throughout Europe and North America, for a period of weeks ending with the Western Front Armistice Day of Nov. 11. For 1915, names from 12 nations are represented. Accompanying the names are images of soldiers and civilians caught up in a global conflict. The Museum is serving as the only location for the display in the United States. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: July 17 - Dec. 6, 2015
The most comprehensive collection of Australian war art ever seen outside of Australia consists of artworks from the Australian War Memorial depicting Australian military experience from the First World War to Afghanistan. The exhibition features Australia’s best known war artists, including George Lambert and Arthur Streeton, and the works highlight the crucial role Australians played in some of the most defining moments in modern history. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: May 1, 2015 - April 10, 2016
The year 1915 was pivotal in terms of the world-wide involvement in the war. World War I was the first truly global war starting in Europe, then spreading to Africa, Asia and the Near East. The European powers mobilized their colonies and commonwealths around the world. Soldiers and laborers from Southeast Asia, India, Africa and the Caribbean were sent to Europe and the Near East to fight. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: March 24 - Oct. 18, 2015
Dutch artist Louis Raemaekers, described as the “supreme cartoonist of the war,” used his pencils as a weapon to create powerful impressions characterizing and criticizing the nature and legacy of war. Learn more.
Special Online Exhibition
On Christmas Eve of 1914, along parts of the Western and Eastern fronts in Europe, a spontaneous truce was declared among the weary, entrenched combatants of World War I. Was this a miracle? Was it a myth? Explore these questions and declare your own truce on social media through The Christmas Truce, Winter 1914. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: Nov. 18, 2014 - Feb. 22, 2015
World War I coincides with the popularization of portable cameras and the simplification of procedures related to the development and printing. It was no longer necessary to be a professional. These cameras were less bulky, simple and relatively inexpensive. This exhibition, curated by the Instituto Per La Storia Del Risoorgimento Italiana, Roma, records Italian servicemen’s personal visions of the conflict, their war and their diary of the past days in uniform in the trenches. Learn more.
Symposium: Nov. 7-8, 2014
Examine the origins of, reactions to and early confrontations in the First World War including the political, diplomatic, military, cultural and scientific developments prior to the war that contributed to its outbreak. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: Oct. 28, 2014 - March 8, 2015
Writer and artist Raymond Fontanet, known as Renefer (1876-1957), was mobilized to serve in the French military in 1914 and, throughout the war, always carried pencils and a sketchbook in his hands. Learn more.
Special Online Exhibition
Home Before the Leaves Fall explores the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the July Crisis and the opening months of the Great War through an examination of images, objects, video and audio recordings via the Google Cultural Institute. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: May 3, 2014 - April 12, 2015
Many thought World War I would be over in days, surely by Christmas. To many, Christmas was a time of peace and goodwill towards others, the Celebration of the Prince of Peace. Each cause was just. God was on their side, but the war was not over by Christmas. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: April 29 - Oct. 19, 2014
“During The Big Brawl: Humorous Imaginings” (“La Grande Bagarre: Fantaisies Humoristiques”) is a collection of political cartoons created by Gustave A. Wendt between 1915 and 1916. The illustrations are done in pencil, watercolor, India ink, gouache and some colored inks. Learn more.
Special Online Exhibition
The National World War I Museum and Memorial addresses an often overlooked aspect of the war: food. In addition to reviewing the effects of food on World War I, War Fare: From the Homefront to the Frontlines includes photographs, comments and even delicious vintage recipes updated for the modern era. Learn more.
Special Exhibition: March 15 - Nov. 9, 2014
A hungry teenage assassin and a wrong turn forever changed the world. View the special exhibition examining the underground organizations, diplomatic communications and international newspaper reporting of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and its political aftershock. Learn more.
U.S. Centennial Commission Meeting & Public ProgramsSunday, July 27, 2014 National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
8:30 a.m. - U.S. Centennial Commission Meeting (open to the public): Board Conference Room
11 a.m. - One Century Later Panel Discussion: J.C. Nichols Auditorium
One Century Later is a panel discussion in partnership with the World War One Centennial Commission that examines the impact of World War I on present day society a hundred years after the start of the Great War. Join historians Dr. Mitch Yockelson, Dr. Graydon Tunstall and Dr. Chad Williams for a intriguing conversation moderated by veteran journalist and Network News Correspondent Barbara Pinto. Included with Museum admission and free for members.
1 p.m. - Germany and the Outbreak of WWI Reconsidered: J.C. Nichols Auditorium
On its 100th anniversary, join us for an animated and intellectual examination of the outbreak of war led by Dr. Michael Epkenhans, professor and Director of Historical Research at the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces at Potsdam. Included with Museum admission and free for members.
Franz Ferdinand Assassination Commemoration
Two shots fired outside a delicatessen in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 forever changed the world. The assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, placed the world on the brink and prompted a series of events resulting in the outbreak of World War I. The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the assassination with several public programs and a free public ceremony on Saturday, June 28. The Museum will extend its hours from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
Summary of June 28, 2014 Events:
- Keynote address from former U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Dr. John Menzies
- Performances from the Kansas City Symphony String Quartet
- Moving recollection of stories from the era performed by award-winning actor John Rensenhouse
Parking & Shuttle Service
Free parking and shuttle services are available on June 28 from the Crown Center parking lot at Grand & 27th Streets from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Due to street closures, guests will need to use either Main Street or Wyandotte Street to access the Museum parking lots.
A CENTURY IN THE SHADOW OF THE GREAT WAR
An International Centennial Planning Conference - March 22-24, 2013
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
The National World War I Museum hosted an international WWI Centennial planning conference during March 22-24, 2013, whose purpose was for participants to present and discuss plans for observing and commemorating the War’s centennial and network ideas at institutional and personal levels. Eight countries were represented by featured speakers, panelists and attendees including Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Turkey, Slovakia and Japan.
The conference’s agenda included panels that covered a variety of subjects from the idea of making WWI battlefields UNESCO World Heritage sites, to the effort to digitize its historical records to interpreting the conflict through the visual and performing arts. Four prominent WWI scholars were the conference’s featured speakers, presenting topics that ranged from the origins of the War, to its Eastern Front campaigns, to the effects of the conflict on an occupied nation, to how the War can be interpreted and memorialized by art. To view photos from the event, visit our Flickr.
Thank you to the Government of Flanders (Belgium), Department of Foreign Affairs – Flanders House New York for partnering as a Lead Sponsor for this event.
Additionally, we thank our other sponsors including:
The Western Front Association
AFS Intercultural Programs
Cyprienne Simchowitz, Attorney at Law & Jerry White
Barton Hacker & Margaret Vining
Cyprienne Simchowitz, President Alliance Française de Kansas City
Order of the First World War
Crile Archives Center for History Education
Strasburg Rail Road