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“Near to Reality, but Not Quite”: Lena Ashwell’s Concerts at the Front during the First World War

“Near to Reality, but Not Quite”: Lena Ashwell’s Concerts at the Front during the First... “Near to Reality, but Not Quite” Lena Ashwell’s Concerts at the Front during the First World War Vanessa Williams n 1917 the newly formed Imperial War Museum appointed the Women’s Work Sub- Committee to record the work undertaken by women during the First IWorld War. The subcommittee members supervised the collection of ephem- era relating to British women’s labor on the home front and in the theaters of war and in May 1918 began to add artwork commissions to their remit. Alongside paintings and photographs, the subcommittee commissioned canvas and plaster models, recorded in their catalog as “dioramas,” from female sculptors and model makers to represent the main categories of women’s war work. Eighteen models were produced, depicting scenes including a munitions factory, hospitals, canteens, women police offi cers, land girls, and the Forage Corps. One of these models is somewhat diff erent in terms of its subject matter: it illustrates a performance of Shakespeare, with actors in brightly colored costumes performing to khaki- clad troops on a proscenium- arch stage (fi g. 1). The full title of the model, made by Ethel Pye, is given in the catalog as “Lena Ashwell Concert Party at Le Havre.” It il- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture University of Nebraska Press

“Near to Reality, but Not Quite”: Lena Ashwell’s Concerts at the Front during the First World War

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Suzanne G. Cusick
ISSN
1553-0612

Abstract

“Near to Reality, but Not Quite” Lena Ashwell’s Concerts at the Front during the First World War Vanessa Williams n 1917 the newly formed Imperial War Museum appointed the Women’s Work Sub- Committee to record the work undertaken by women during the First IWorld War. The subcommittee members supervised the collection of ephem- era relating to British women’s labor on the home front and in the theaters of war and in May 1918 began to add artwork commissions to their remit. Alongside paintings and photographs, the subcommittee commissioned canvas and plaster models, recorded in their catalog as “dioramas,” from female sculptors and model makers to represent the main categories of women’s war work. Eighteen models were produced, depicting scenes including a munitions factory, hospitals, canteens, women police offi cers, land girls, and the Forage Corps. One of these models is somewhat diff erent in terms of its subject matter: it illustrates a performance of Shakespeare, with actors in brightly colored costumes performing to khaki- clad troops on a proscenium- arch stage (fi g. 1). The full title of the model, made by Ethel Pye, is given in the catalog as “Lena Ashwell Concert Party at Le Havre.” It il-

Journal

Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and CultureUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Sep 4, 2019

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