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Exhibit Designer Tells the Story of Artist Soldiers in World War I with Exhibit at National Air and Space Museum

By: Tiffany Young

February 6, 2018

ARLINGTON, VA, Feb. 6, 2018 --  Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression In The First World War tells how artwork in the era remade the world geopolitically and transformed how societies engage and relate to military conflict. The exhibit, on display at the National Air and Space Museum through November 11, 2018, was designed by Richard Bentham, an alumnus of The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta.

richard bentham

The romanticized battles and heroic military leaders portrayed in artwork over the course of history gave way in World War I to artwork that captured the realities of war by first-hand participants. “It was a turning point in artistic expression and in how our society viewed war,” said Bentham who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design in 2012 from The Art Institute of Washington. 

The exhibit highlights the work of the first true combat artists, professional artists employed by the US. Army to capture the war. The exhibit also shows the work of the soldiers themselves, who carved their work in underground shelters. Photographer, artist and explorer Jeff Gusky brought this work, hidden underground for a century, to light through photographs. “I am honored to have designed an exhibit that tells the tale of these artists,” said Bentham. “These works of art tell a compelling story about the war previous unseen in history,” said Bentham.

world war one exhibit

“As the lead exhibition designer, I’m like a movie set designer,” said Bentham, “The script is in place and ready to go. I have a team of experts such as the curator, collections specialist, educators, lighting designer, production staff and more all by my side. The objects, photographs, and art are the actors or stars of the exhibit. I’m there, orchestrating it all to make sure we have a successful exhibit that tells the incredible story of the work displayed.”

For more information and to view the exhibit, please visit

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By: Tiffany Young

February 6, 2018