A Glimpse Through the Lens of WWII - By Erik Hunter Schmidt

   This gallery emphasizes on the use of technology in order to take a look into the not-so-distant past, exploring the brutal and war-torn world of this time period. The purpose of this exhibition is not only to display the brutality and bloodshed of conflict, but also to investigate the malleable frailness of the human psyche. This collection stresses the significance of recalling the past, in order to ensure the human race does not repeat these horrible acts of injustice for political and monetary gain at the cost of thousands of lives.

The Battle of Moscow. Headquarters of the Western Front. From right to left: Front commander army general Gerogy Zhukov, member of the military council of the Front; Nikolay Bulganin, Chief of staff of the Front; lieutenant general Vasily Sokolovsky, Russian, Autumn 1941, printed 2012, From the collection of: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This photo shows the Headquarter of the Western Front during the Battle of Moscow. This piece has emphasis on commander army general Gerogy Zhukov while he deciphers the message. This photo has a strong sense of unity between the officers, who are all diligently focused on the task at hand.
St. Paul's Cathedral during the Blitz, Herbert Mason, 1940-12-31, From the collection of: St. Paul's Cathedral
This powerful photo depicts St. Paul's Cathedral during the Blitz. There is a lot of contrast between the white in the sky and the black and gray in the smoke. The value of the black and white photo creates texture and creates a sense of depth, as well as positive and negative space for the viewer.
Aerial view of London (WWII), From the collection of: St. Paul's Cathedral
This bird's eye view of the city of London depicts St. Paul's Cathedral among a vast expanse of leveled buildings. This photo is a jaw dropping example of the destruction caused by war. The lines and shapes of the roads and foundations of the buildings create a pattern, however it is apparent that most of the city is destroyed.
Fire at the Grand Palais during the liberation of Paris, 23 August 1944., © Photo by Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images, 1944, From the collection of: Rmn-Grand Palais
This photo shows a fire at the Grand Palais in 1944. The smoke rising into the air gives a sense of movement and the trees provide texture. The balance between the light sky and the dark ground splits the scene horizontally, while the burning building in the middle splits the scene from left to right.
War 1939-1945. The Liberation of Paris. Interior of the Grand Palais nave after the August fire, the result of combat. Paris, November 1944., © LAPI / Roger-Viollet, 1944-11, Original Source: Roger-Viollet website
This photo is also from the Liberation of Paris, showing the interior of the Grand Palais. The viewer has a strong sense of scale because of the use of proportion to compare the size of the people and cars on the street to the building. The lines created by the roof also create a pattern in the top half of the picture.
War in Hawaiian Water. Japanese Torpedoes Attack Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, Japanese, December 7, 1941, From the collection of: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This photo depicts Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japanese torpedoes. The ripples created by the impact underwater that gives a strong sense of movement, while the lines create a repetitive pattern in the ocean. This seems to be the emphasis of the photo, however the smoke rising in the background also catches the eye of the onlooker.
Sailors at Naval Air Station Ford Island Watch as USS SHAW Explodes, Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor Bombing, American, 7-Dec-41, From the collection of: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This image of the USS SHAW exploding captures the sense of awe and terror perfectly as the onlooking sailors watch helplessly. The movement and texture of this fireball captures the focus. The saturation and value of the flames portray the intensity and heat of the blaze. The planes in the foreground also give depth and space to the photo.
Iwo Jima Reconnaissance Image, Possibly U.S. Navy Photographic Squadron Five (VD-5), 1945, From the collection of: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This photo is interesting because it was taken in 1945, the same year that a very famous and important battle took place on this island. This reconnaissance image was probably used to scout and plan the attack on the island, making this a vital piece of history. The asymmetrical island is balanced well in the picture, and the contrast between areas of the island make it possible to depict characteristics and texture of the landscape.
This is a photo of a war propaganda poster, which gives the viewer a good idea of the mindset and social context of America during this time period. The colors of the soldier's clothes and skin give a rugged, war torn appearance. The contrast of the red underline and banner provide the emphasis of the message, which stresses the importance of rations.
Operating a Drill Press at the Ford Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan, 1943, Ford Motor Company. Photographic Department, 1943-03-17, Original Source: http://collections.thehenryford.org/Collection.aspx?objectKey=331680
This photo also gives a good frame of reference for the social changes that began during World War II. The extreme contrast of a woman wearing a dress operating a drill press depicts the shift of roles that women began to take while men were at war. This lady appears to a housewife, however she is fabricating parts in a Ford factory. The machine on the left side of the shot gives balance to the woman on the opposing side of the picture.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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