Sunday, March 21, 2010

Canadian Camouflage Exhibition

During a span of eight months in 2007, the Imperial War Museum in London premiered an exhibition about the cultural history of camouflage, particularly "its development by the military and later adoption by popular culture." The exhibition, now titled Camouflage: From Battlefield to Catwalk, has been reinstalled at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, where it continues to be on display through September 6, 2010. Here's a descriptive excerpt from the museum's publicity:

[The exhibition] traces the colorful history of military camouflage over the last century, from the simple concealment of soldiers and objects to the use of camouflage-inspired designs in a wide range of commercial and artistic products. It includes everything from hand-painted dummy heads, designed to draw sniper fire during the First World War, to vast designs for phantom armies and invasion fleets during the Second World War, to sophisticated computer-generated patterns used by today's militaries. This extensive exhibition shows how the art of military concealment and deception is a product of human imagination, artistic skill and scientific ingenuity, and how designs, applications and effectiveness have varied greatly over time. …more

Other events have been scheduled to supplement the exhibition. Later this week, for example, on Thursday, March 25, 2010, at 7:00 pm, Dr. Alison Matthews David, Assistant Professor in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University, will lecture on Dazzling Shoes and Deceptive Hats: Fashion and Camouflage during the First World War. A few weeks later, on Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 pm, I [Roy R. Behrens, Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa] will lecture on Seagoing Easter Eggs: Artists' Contributions to Ship Camouflage. Both presentations will be held in the museum's Barney Danson Theatre, and are free and open to the public.