The opening of the special exhibition John Singer Sargent Gassed featuring the “monumental” work of art and a program examining the challenges endured by African Americans during the Great War are among the February events at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
Opening Friday, Feb. 23, John Singer Sargent Gassed features the landmark painting that measures a staggering 21-feet long by nine-feet tall. Depicting a line of British soldiers blinded by exposure to poison gas at a dressing station, Gassed is the focal point of the debut special exhibition in the Museum and Memorial’s new $5+ million Wylie Gallery.
Considered one of the most important war-related works of the past several centuries, Gassed was hailed as “monumental” by the New York Times, a “masterpiece” by the Daily Mail, “magnificent” by the Telegraph, “epic” by the Associated Press and “extraordinary” by The Guardian. Upon viewing the painting for the first time, Sir Winston Churchill referred to the work as “brilliant genius.”Gassed, which is on loan from the Imperial War Museums in the U.K., has been viewed by tens of millions of people since its completion in 1919. Gassed is on exhibition in the U.S. for just the second time and its appearance in Kansas City marks the first occasion it’s been on exhibition in the Midwest.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, the Museum and Memorial hosts Colonel (ret) Krewasky Salter, (Guest) Curator of Double Victory: The African American Military Experience and Military Subject Matter Expert at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), for the free program In Times of War. Salter will explore the unique challenges faced by African Americans during World War I in a program presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
In collaboration with other organizations in the Crown Center District, the Museum and Memorial offers a special evening opportunity for a guided tour during Date Night in the District: Love and War at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Curator of Education Lora Vogt shares stories of love and war during a 60-minute exclusive event. Tickets are $6 here.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, the Museum and Memorial offers a special free screening of Doctor Who. The 1914 Christmas Truce is cleverly intertwined with the iconic British television show and the screening features the final episode of the 2017 season.
The Museum and Memorial will offer the ability for individuals to witness two of the most significant battles in the history of the U.S. during its 2018 Battlefield Tour. Taking place from Sept. 4-9, 2018, the tour takes guests to France, the site of the legendary conflict at Belleau Wood and the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne, the largest single battle in U.S. history with more than 1.2 million American soldiers. Availability is limited and space is reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis here.
Other events occurring in February include: Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle (10:30 a.m., Feb. 3), the monthly Day in the Life program with Living Historians (all day, Feb. 11), an opportunity to explore the Museum and Memorial’s Edward Jones Research Center during the In The Know program (2 p.m., Feb. 18), a special edition of Hands-on History focused on the painting Gassed (1 p.m., Feb. 24) and a special happy hour program featuring Senior Curator Doran Cart discussing Gassed (6 p.m., Feb. 28).
The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.
February National WWI Museum and Memorial Events
- Every Wednesday: World War Wednesdays (all tickets $8)
- Every Thursday, 2:30 p.m.: Complimentary Tour (FREE with paid admission)
- Every Saturday, 11 a.m.: Hands-on History (FREE)
- Tuesday–Friday, Jan. 30-Feb. 2: Homeschool Week in the Crown Center District (tickets $5)
- Thursday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.: In Times of War (FREE with RSVP)
- Saturday, Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m.: Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle (FREE with RSVP)
- Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.: Date Night in the District – Love and War ($6)
- Sunday, Feb. 11, All Day: Day in the Life with Living Historians (FREE)
- Thursday, Feb. 6:30 p.m.: Timelords & The Truce – Doctor Who Takes on WWI (FREE with RSVP)
- Sunday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m.: In the Know – Meet Your Edward Jones Research Center (FREE with RSVP)
- Thursday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m.: Modernist Happy Hour (FREE)
- Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.: Gassed Hands-on History (FREE)
- Wednesday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m.: Museum Insider – Curator Happy Hour (FREE with RSVP)