Calendar

A shell bursting on the cathedral at Reims, 1914.

Lecture: Thomas W. Gaehtgens

October 21, 2015
6p reception, Kemper Art Museum; 6:30p lecture, Steinberg Auditorium

Bombing the Cathedral of Reims

Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute, will examine the bombardment of Reims Cathedral by German troops on September 19, 1914, and its implications for the intellectual and cultural relations between the two nations. The attack spurred an unprecedented propaganda war with the French decrying the attack as a deliberate act of barbarism. The battle of words and images ignited by the bombardment stressed the differences between German Kultur and French civilization. Stereotypes with roots deep in the past became the prevalent motifs of the controversy. Intellectuals on both sides cut all ties, and cultural relations between the two nations were not reestablished until long after the conflict.

Image credit

A shell bursting on the cathedral at Reims, 1914. From Francis J. Reynolds and C. W. Taylor, eds., Collier’s New Photographic History of the World’s War (New York, 1918), 86.

Tagged