World War I

Horace Pippin, American, 1888-1946; Sunday Morning Breakfast, 1943; oil on fabric; 16 x 20 inches
Provided by Alexandre Gallery, New York

The artist Horace Pippin has been embraced by the St. Louis Art Museum and that is an occasion in which all of us should find joy at this season – along with plenty of challenging ideas and issues to contemplate.

A 16-by-20 inch, oil-on-fabric painting by Pippin has been purchased by the museum for its permanent collection. It’s not a pretty picture; rather, it’s rich in narrative and meaning, and presents a deeply affecting and disturbing scene of domestic complexity. Even the frame in its slightly battered condition lends a special authenticity to the picture.

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

Defeat is not one of the primary words associated with Sir Winston Churchill’s career. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, he gave the prophetic “Iron Curtain Speech” at Westminster College in 1946, and, most importantly, he emerged victorious during World War II as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. What many people don’t know is that Churchill did in fact experience the agony of defeat…and that’s what fueled his second life as a painter.

Jacob Lawrence. The Migration Series. 1940-41. Panel 22.
Courtesy of Museum of Modern Art

Harlem Renaissance painter Jacob Lawrence created his Great Migration Series 74 years ago, but his frank depiction of those events and the African-American experience of the time could be about current events in St. Louis and the United States. And as artists look to conceptualize what happened in Ferguson, they would do well to study Lawrence.

Ina Bass and Elsie Shemin-Roth, the daughters of World War I Sgt. William Shemin, accept the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama.
Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated from the ceremony - WASHINGTON - It took nearly 100 years, approval from Congress and the decades-long determination of an admiring daughter, but Tuesday, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Sgt. William Shemin, a World War I veteran who had been overlooked at the time to receive the nation’s highest military honor for multiple acts of bravery in 1918, because he was Jewish.

Missouri History Museum

World War I collared the spread of German culture and language across the globe. Though far from the front lines, St. Louis’s vibrant German community was no exception. 

A hundred years ago, the growth of the city had largely been driven by thousands of Germanic immigrants who built and controlled large swaths of government, industry, education, and religion. The Great War tested and ultimately transformed that influence in many ways that linger today.

(Courtesy Mustard Seed Theatre)

In remembrance of Veteran’s Day, Mustard Seed Theatre is presenting “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.” The a cappella musical is based on a true story from the front lines during World War I.

Flags are being lowered in Missouri for the last surviving American to serve in World War I.

Missouri native Frank Buckles died Sunday at the age of 110 at his farm in West Virginia. He was born in the Harrison County town of Bethany and also lived as a child in Vernon County.

Buckles lied about his age to enlist in the Army and served during the war in England and France.

(Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Library of Congress)
Elsie Roth shows off a book that describes her father's heroism during World War I, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Mary Delach Leonard | 2009 St. Louis Beacon photo

If you visit the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington this Veterans Day, chances are you will not see the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Army Sgt. William Shemin for heroism in France during World War I.

Shemin was awarded the medal -- the nation's second-highest military decoration -- for leaping from a trench into heavy machine gun and rifle fire to carry three wounded comrades to safety.