Camouflage and Other Hidden Treasures from the Eric Gustav Carlson WWI Collection

Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408

In 2014, Professor Eric Gustav Carlson donated his extensive collection of art produced during World War I to the Spencer Museum of Art. This compelling gift includes nearly 4,000 objects, most of which are prints and drawings made in France during the Great War (1914–1918). This exhibition includes about 1/60th of the gift and features works concerning the art of camouflage, as well as a selection of other works to depict the range and depth of Carlson’s WWI collection. There are intriguing connections between camouflage and the visual arts, especially in the years around World War I. The Cubist painter Pablo Picasso reportedly remarked upon seeing a camouflaged cannon in Paris: "It was us who created that." A previous exhibition, The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War (2015), presented works from the Carlson Collection that depicted advancements in medicine and nursing.

Support for this exhibition comes from the International Fine Print Dealers Association Foundation.

Selected images