Admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while general admission for the public is half-price all weekend. The Museum and Memorial offers several events during the course of the weekend for people of all ages and interests, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day featuring a keynote address from former astronaut/space shuttle commander Jon McBride.
Soon after the outset of World War I, the poster was recognized as a means of spreading national propaganda with unlimited possibilities. Posters as Munitions showcases the depth and breadth of the collection through a series of works on exhibition for the first time at the Museum. Posters from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the United States and more are featured, providing a sense of the global nature of this form of communication. Exhibition currently open in Memory Hall.
Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic
Focusing on the final two years of the Great War with the emphasis on American involvement, Images of the Great War: America Crosses the Atlantic features works by French, British, German and American artists who attempted to capture the harsh realities of the incredibly brutal war. The exhibition was organized by Brown University Library and The President Woodrow Wilson House. Open Nov. 9, 2017 – May 13, 2018 in the Ellis Gallery.
For the Doughboys on the Western Front, 1918 was their year. It was the crucible where the American land forces forged their fighting force. They fought alongside their main allies from Cantigny to Belleau Wood to the Champagne Region, the Piave River to the Marne to St. Mihiel to the Meuse Argonne to Vladivostok. This exhibition is not an illustration or timeline of how the 1918 battles were fought, rather it focuses on individuals and their lives and deaths in the crucible of 1918. Exhibition open April 3, 2018 – March 10, 2019 in Exhibit Hall.
John Singer Sargent’s incredible masterpiece Gassed is truly one of the giants of the art world at more than nine feet tall by 21 feet long. The landmark painting is the focal point in this special centennial exhibition that also includes original maps of the dressing station where Sargent witnessed the scene he depicted and reproductions of many of his study drawings and featuring historical and contemporary objects on detection and protection from chemical warfare. Exhibition open Feb. 23 – June 3, 2018 in the Wylie Gallery.
History beats with the human impulse to create art in response to war and in turn, this art inspires others, creating a collective cultural memory. Art helps us interpret, reinterpret and remember our history. A young Ernest Hemingway left Kansas City in 1918 to volunteer in Italy during WWI. His wartime experiences shaped his writing that then went on to inspire contemporary Italian artists in creating this global digital media project, Insight. Come take a listen. On the Research Level Feb. 1 - May 20, 2018.
History is brought to life in this family‑friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts. FREE to the public | Near Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge
Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.
Complimentary Museum Tour
Explore the Main Gallery with one of our knowledgeable Museum Guides on a tour. Space is limited on a first come, first serve basis. Sign-up on Thursdays at the Museum ticketing window. Complimentary with paid admission | Museum Main Gallery
Saturdays at 1 p.m.
Gassed Hands-on History
Join us for our Gassed-edition Hands-on History where an Education staff member will lead an interactive viewing of the work, where guests will see how Sargent used his observational skills to create his masterpiece. Discover your inner art historian at this family-friendly exploration! Complimentary with Wylie Gallery Admission | Wylie Gallery
Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.
Story Time: Fly, Cher Ami, Fly!: The Pigeon Who Saved the Lost Battalion
Animals played many roles during World War I—some even helped save lives. One was carrier pigeon Cher Ami who heroically helped save a lost battalion of soldiers. Join us for a family-friendly craft and reading of Robert Burleigh’s sweeping story of the unlikely animal that could. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
The American in Paris: The True Story of the American Hospital of Paris
This new documentary is centered on the American Hospital of Paris, showing how thousands of doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers helped in France and, in doing so, strengthened the historic ties between the two countries. The screening is followed by a conversation with the architect of the film, John Crawford, Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Hospital of Paris. Sponsored by the Capitol Federal Foundation. Reception begins at 6 p.m. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
To create Gassed, John Singer Sargent completed multiple sketches in preparation to paint his monumental work. Join us for an afternoon of drawing from our collection and in the Wylie Gallery where guests will use observational skills, learn compositional and drawing techniques, and discuss the processes Sargent used to create his masterpiece. Presented in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Class is appropriate for ages 12-adult. RSVP soon—spots are limited! $20 (includes supplies) but guests should bring their own sketchbook |Wylie Gallery
The National WWI Museum and Memorial is teaming with area amateur radio operators to host special event station WW1USA from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday, May 12-13. During this time, station operators will contact hundreds of other amateur radio operators across the world. Individuals are welcome to serve as a guest operator of WW1USA at any time with all guests receiving a special amateur radio operator certificate. FREE to the public | Southeast Lawn
Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.
Women at War: Served Like a Girl
Since the advent of the modern American military, women have actively served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Join Kansas City PBS for a free screening of a new documentary, Served Like a Girl, which chronicles the lives of female veterans as they harness humor to adapt to the emotional, social and economic challenges of transitioning from soldier to civilian and compete for the crown of Ms. Veteran America. A local veterans panel will address the contemporary issues in the film for our community and how women's service has changed since WWI. Presented in partnership with KCPT and the National Archives at Kansas City. Reception begins at 6 p.m. FREE with RSVP | J. C. Nichols Auditorium
At the heart of Kansas City, on the Great Frieze of the Museum and Memorial, are inscribed the words “Let us strive on to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” That endeavor for peace begins at home, a mission which many organizations strive for everyday in our community. Join us as Dr. Matthew Naylor leads a discussion on continuing to build “a just and lasting peace” in Kansas City. Reception begins at 6 p.m. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Pershing Lecture Series: Great War in the Middle East, 1916-18
Many of today’s disputed borders in the Middle East were created during World War I. Join Assistant Professor and Middle East Specialist Lieutenant Colonel Brian Steed of the U.S. Army General Command and Staff College (CGSC) to learn the actions from 1916-18 and their enduring impact. Presented in partnership with the CGSC Foundation. Cash bar begins at 6 p.m. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Join Stephanie Fox Knappe, Samuel Sosland Curator of American Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, for a 30-minute conversation on the stories behind John Singer Sargent’s painting Gassed. Get an up-close look with this informal in-gallery chat with the contributing art historian for the exhibition John Singer Sargent Gassed. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. outside Wylie Gallery. Tickets are $10 and include two drinks | Wylie Gallery
More than 80,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. In preparation for Memorial Day, join author Scott Schoner as he discusses the memorialization that occurred during and after WWI, the construction and maintenance of overseas military cemeteries, and modern research into American Expeditionary Forces casualty statistics and the efforts to compile accurate lists of the war dead. FREE with RSVP | Edward Jones Research Center
Kick off your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Music Director Michael Stern, performs patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City's historic Union Station. Celebration at the Station concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The event site opens at 3 p.m. Concert begins at 8 p.m. FREE to the public | Museum and Memorial North Lawn
Monday, May 28, Open
Summer Hours Begin
The Museum is open 7 days a week beginning on Memorial Day.
This Memorial Day, revisit the hauntingly beautiful songs and poetry of the Great War with internationally acclaimed performers operatic baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan. An exploration of the timeless themes of longing and the search for meaning and peace, this 45-minute program features music by WWI veterans including New York natives Alan Seeger and Irving Berlin, alongside classics by Vaughan Williams, Schubert Rachmaninov, and more. CD signing to follow. FREE to the public | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Tuesday, May 29, 6:30 p.m.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Shortly after World War I, a white marble sarcophagus was erected in Arlington Cemetery where an unknown American soldier was laid to rest, representing all who not only gave their lives, but also their identities, for their nation. From WWI through the disinterment of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier in 1998, join us as we explore the history of this hallowed site with Gavin McIlvenna, President of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Presented in partnership with the WETU Project. Cash bar/small plates begin at 6 p.m. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Join The Modernists for drinks and general revelry on the final Thursday of each month at Nomad’s Coffee and Cocktails. Open to members and non-members alike, we promise good company and conversation with even better whiskey. Learn more about upcoming events, membership and ways to support our local national treasure. FREE to the public (drinks not included) | Nomad’s Coffee and Cocktails at 1804 West 39th Street