Commemoration, Memory and the Process of Display: Negotiating the Imperial War Museum's First World War Exhibitions, 1964 - 2014
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis explores the key permanent and temporary First World War exhibitions held at the Imperial War Museum in London over a fifty year period. In so doing, it examines the theoretical, political and intellectual considerations that inform exhibition-making. It thus illuminates the possibilities, challenges and difficulties, of displaying the 'War to End All Wars'. Furthermore, by situating these displays within their respective social, economic and cultural contexts, this produces a critical analysis of past and present practices of display. A study of these public presentations of the First World War enables discussion of the Museum’s primary agendas, and its role as a national public institution. In considering this with the broader effect of generational shifts and the ever-changing impact of the War’s cultural memory on this institution, the thesis investigates how the Imperial War Museum has consistently reinvented itself to produce engaging portrayals of the conflict for changing audiences.
Arts and Humanities Research Council. Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Imperial War Museums.
PhD in Human Geography