PurposeTo examine how art is shaped by war, outside of the official commemorative projects of the First World War. The purpose of this paper is to examine the experience of a surgeon/artist who knew first-hand the horror of industrial scale of destruction. It speculates on how his medical education and surgical knowledge in the treatment of the casualties informed his art and considers how such scientific discourses may have contributed to a new modernist language.Design/methodology/approachThe double career of J.W. Power – a surgeon then an artist – provides a case study to probe such questions. The paper speculates about the connections between these different careers, and considers the implications of becoming an artist for someone who had pre-war university-training, medical expertise and experience as a war surgeon. In particular, consideration is given to how surgical knowledge and contemporary medical debates may have informed a group of later paintings.FindingsA group of J.W. Power’s late paintings stand apart from his other subjects as they suggest states of physical or psychological damage. Indeed by the 1930s shell shock was recognised as a war-related psychological injury. These paintings then may not only be an act of remembrance, but also potentially a reflection on that new discourse.Research limitations/implicationsIt remains a compelling idea that by the 1930s Power had found a modern abstract language capable of revisiting the traumatic subject of his hospital sketches. The implications of the war-time surgery on his art was delayed and remains highly ambiguous, however it invites, indeed encourages, such speculation.Originality/valueThe paper is the first to examine the cultural impact of the medical career of the artist J.W. Power. His medical training and experience as a war-time surgeon is shown to have been significant to his later painting, for he knew the regenerative powers of modern surgery, of how such knowledge had the power to repair and to heal.
History of Education Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 3, 2016
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera