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Great War memorials go online for first time

The project has already documented around 2,000 works

An art historian based in Washington, DC, is creating the only online database of First World War memorials in America. The Great War is “the only major conflict of the 20th century” without a federal monument on the National Mall, Mark Levitch says. But there are around 10,000 smaller memorials across the country, many of which are undocumented, hidden or in disrepair. Levitch is inviting volunteers to submit photographs of local monuments to his World War I Memorial Inventory Project, which has already recorded around 2,000 works. These include two murals by John Singer Sargent, commissioned by Harvard University in 1920, and the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial in Honolulu, a Beaux Arts-style ocean swimming pool that opened in 1927. “There is a vernacular touch to a lot of what was built,” Levitch says. He hopes to complete the database by the centenary of the war’s armistice in 2018.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 254 February 2014