The World War History & Art Museum has set up one of its "Brushes With War" in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.

ALLIANCE  Going across the Atlantic Ocean, local museum and art exhibit curator Joel Parkinson has temporarily placed some of his collection in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Scotland.

The exhibit, titled "Brushes With War," is a collection of 203 paintings and drawings created by troops from various nations while they were engaged in World War I.

Parkinson operates World War History & Art Museum, a traveling museum and art gallery that showcases relics from World War I and World War II. At one time, Parkinson's museum and art gallery was housed in the College Plaza in the 1300 block of E. State Street.

Now "we do traveling exhibits for other museums," Parkinson said.

This particular exhibit is timed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. An extremely bloody conflict, World War I started in 1914 and ended with an armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. The war began in Europe. World War I pitted about 15 nations comprising the Allied Powers against the four-nation pact known as Central Powers.

The Central Powers were the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and Bulgaria. In 1917, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers. 

Military casualties are estimated at 5.52 million for the Allied Powers and 4.38 million of the Central Powers. It ended as a victory for the Allied Powers.

Parkinson's Brushes With War opened in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in late September and is scheduled to close Jan. 6.

Five-year effort

"The director of the museum and I have been working on it for almost five years," Parkinson said. "They wanted it no matter what. But five years ago they scheduled it for this time basically so it would be for the centennial end of the war. This is the first time 'Brushes With War' has been at another museum other than ours. A lot of museums don't have the space for this."

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, located in the city of Glasgow, is reputed to be among Scotland's most popular tourist attractions. Parkinson said he believes his exhibit of soldiers' art work is drawing well.

"I don't have exact numbers," he said. "They have different school groups from Germany and France lined up. Part of what they are trying to do is bring Europe together, try to have a dialogue on how the war was started and what the war was about."

An attempt to contact an administrator with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum by email was not successful.

Warfare scenes

The sketches and paintings came from troops from both sides of the conflict. They illustrate scenes of warfare.

"These guys wanted to depict their experiences in the reality of it," Parkinson said. "They are not copies, they are not prints. They are the original paintings and drawings. Most of them are water colors. Probably next would be pencil sketches and drawings; a few oils but not very many."

The soldiers often had idle time between battles and created art work to fill their days, Parkinson said.

Acquiring the art work was a 15-year endeavor, recalled Parkinson.

"I don't want to discuss sources," he said. "But it is all legally purchased."

Currently, there are no plans to transport "Brushes With War" to another museum after its run at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

"For now it is coming back over here," Parkinson said.

The World War History & Art Museum left College Plaza in 2014.

"It was a great place, it was a nice facility," said R. Mark Locke, president of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce. "But he wanted more people to see it. He thought if he took it on the road, a lot more people would see it."

Parkinson recalls his decision to leave a permanent location in College Plaza was in response to the moderate level of local interest in the World War History & Art Museum.

"Alliance just really wasn't a good market," Parkinson said."We had people coming in from all over the world. The overwhelming majority of our patrons were from out of state. We just repurposed it for traveling exhibits."

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