Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Furnace Girl and The Rod Turner, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

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Happy International Women’s Day, a day early. For the occasion, we feature two more sculptures by Frances Loring.

Loring and Florence Wyle were born in the US and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. They moved to Toronto in 1913, where they were collectively known as The Girls. In 1918, they were commissioned to do a series of sculptures of “girl war workers” as part of the project to document Canada’s participation in the war.

Furnace Girl and The Rod Turner are two of fifteen pieces depicting munitions and farm workers. According to Catherine Speck, “As a group, they are the most transgressive artworks representing female labour during the First World War. … The women fill the space they occupy, with bronze an ideal sculptural medium to highlight muscles and bodies moving, and folds in clothing.” (Beyond the Battlefield, pp 34-35)

Now part of the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, these and some of the other bronzes from the Loring and Wyle commission are on display in the lobby of the Canadian War Museum until 2017. Some have been in storage for almost 100 years. I hope the War Museum brings the rest out and keeps them all on permanent display.

To see more of their works, click on Frances Loring and Florence Wyle below or in the tag cloud.

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Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at greatwar100reads.wordpress.com.

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