Student Curates ‘Letters and Artworks From War – Renefer: 1914-18’

| April 2, 2015
Letters and Artworks From War - Renefer: 1914-18

The Centre Francophone exhibit, ‘’Letters and Artworks From War – Renefer: 1914-18’’ is on display in the Edward Jones Commons of the East Academic Building.

Curator of ‘’Letters and Artworks From War - Renefer: 1914-18’’

The exhibit was curated by Shelby Wratchford, a double major in Art and French at Webster, in partnership with the National WWI Museum in Kansas City, and the Consulat de France in Chicago.

A new exhibition examining work and letters of renowned World War I-era French artist Raymond Fontanet (known as Renefer) is now on display at the Webster Groves campus, curated by a Webster University student.

“Letters and Artworks From War – Renefer: 1914-18’’ is curated for the Centre Francophone by Shelby Wratchford, a double-major in Art and French at Webster University, in partnership with the National WWI Museum in Kansas City, and the Consulat de France in Chicago.

In 1914, at age 35, Renefer was drafted into the 1st Engineering Regiment and was given the task of sketching the topography of the battlefields to provide a more accurate basis for planning artillery barrages. He depicted life in the trenches, recording the tragedy and devastation as it happened before his eyes.

The exhibition, now on display in the Edward Jones Commons of Webster’s East Academic Building, consists of 6 panels, along with the translations from French to English. The panels show direct quotes from letters from the battlefield that Renefer sent to his daughter, along with the drawings from the war.

Wratchford, who curated and provided the background information above, explains: “This is an amazing opportunity for Webster. To see the letters and artwork written and created amidst such a time of devastation and ruin is enlightening and offers an interesting perspective of the inner workings of the war. The work is invaluable and important to all viewers, whether they are just visiting or are students of art, history, psychology, or (of course) French.”

Letters from the battlefield

The exhibit includes direct quotes from letters sent from battlefield that Renefer sent to his daughter, along with the drawings from the war.

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Category: Student Affairs and News, The Arts

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