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A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan

January 17 to June 14, 2009

War and art may seem a strange combination, but, around the world and for centuries, moments in military history have been immortalized in art. In Canada, governments and armed forces, since the First World War, have encouraged artists to represent their operations, battles, and aid to civilians through art.

The production of Canadian war art started in 1916 with the implementation of the Canadian War Memorials Fund which, by 1918, had produced over 800 works. These were subsequently shown in England, the United States, and Canada. The Second World War (1939-1945) brought another program, the Canadian War Records. The exhibition, A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan , opens at the McMichael on January 17, 2009, and includes artworks dating from 1947-2008. In particular, it explores the two military art programs that started more than twenty years after the Second World War, the Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program (CAFCAP, 1968-1995) and the Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP, 2001- present). Initially influenced by the art of the First and Second World War programs, over the past sixty years military art has moved gradually in new directions, current works expressing artists’ more personal rather than documentary responses to their subjects.

A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan  was developed by the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, and has been made possible in part by a generous donation from the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation. The exhibition continues at the McMichael until June 14, 2009.

Activities and Events PDF (125KB)

Press KitPDF (330KB)





Canadian A.P.C. Patrol - Old City, Nicosia, Cyprus

Colin Williams
Canadian A.P.C. Patrol – Old City, Nicosia, Cyprus 1974, 1975
oil on art board
76.2 x 101.6 cm
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19750563-002


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