Striking World War I photo exhibit comes to the nation’s capital

Starting Thursday residents and visitors of the nation’s capital are invited to see a special U.S. World War One Centennial Commission display of WWI photos. The Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918 exhibition will be at Pershing Park, located at located at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., through Sunday, Dec. 3.

The exhibition features massive photos by Michael St Maur Sheilof battlefields of the Western Front as they are today, alongside archive pictures from 100 years ago. Each display is accompanied by text to educate visitors on various topics. The exhibition was co-curated by the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

Photographer Michael St Maur Sheil discusses his work on display in Perishing Park.

“The U.S. involvement in the First World War was a hugely significant factor,” said Sheil, whose work has been featured in National Geographic and Time magazine among others. “Today, it is often overlooked, but it was a New World coming to the aid of an Old World, from which many of the young American soldiers – as first generation immigrants – had sought to escape. Their humanitarian effort in supplying and shipping over seven million tons of food to save the peoples of Belgium and northern France from starvation marked the advent of America as a united nation.”

Prior to Washington, D.C. the exhibition debuted at the National World War I Museum and Memorial and will continue on in 2018 with stops in Atlanta, New York, and Chicago.  A second edition of the exhibition traveled throughout the United Kingdom in 2017, including stops in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. To date, the exhibition has been viewed by more than 2 million people in the U.S. and U.K.

“Through Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918, we trace the journey of the American forces during the height of their involvement in the war and we commemorate their efforts,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “It is both poignant and beautiful work and serves as another example of our commitment in helping the public understand the enduring impact of the Great War.”

The opening of Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918 will  coincide with the groundbreaking of the National World War I Memorial, scheduled to debut in Pershing Park in late-2018 or early-2019. The groundnreaking will be held in the park at 11 a.m. and is open to public.

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Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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