Haultain-Gall, Matthew: Same old relics, same old story? Displaying the third battle of Ypres at the Australian War Memorial, past and present

Matthew Haultain-Gall

Same old relics, same old story? Displaying the third battle of Ypres at the Australian War Memorial, past and present‘, History Australia, vol. 14, no. 3, August 2017, pp. 1-17 (link to online version supplied by author)

When the Australian War Memorial, the Anzac legend’s primary physical incarnation, displayed its collections between 1922 and 1935 in Melbourne and Sydney, these initial exhibitions emphasised traditional values associated with combat. Nowadays, such romantic notions of war have become increasingly marginalised in public discourse. Comparing the interwar and present-day displays of third Ypres, this article argues that, in order to remain relevant, the Memorial has not remained strictly bound to the vision of its founders in its refurbished First World War galleries. Rather, it has developed an exhibition that clearly reflects the Australian popular memory of the war today. (abstract)

For related analysis, see three articles on the refurbished World War I galleries (by David Stephens, here and here, and Christina Spittel) and a review of Anzac Treasures, a book published to mark the Anzac centenary.

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