New exhibition at N.B. museum focuses on post-WW1 era
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:13PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:54PM AST
In just a few days, we’ll mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A new exhibition at the New Brunswick Museum is showcasing how society in the province changed as one era ended and another began – after the armistice.
Snapshots of life after the First World War are on display at the museum. The black and white photographs show New Brunswickers adjusting to a new era with the battlefield behind them, and a new life ahead.
"We see the return of the soldiers, not something that's going to happen very quickly,” said Dominique Gelinas, the New Brunswick Museum’s head of exhibitions. “It's going to take a year and a half. So yes, the pleasure to see everyone back at home but it’s also facing the reality that the adaptation to the normal life is going to be a big challenge.”
The new exhibition is called Legacy of Victory: New Brunswick in the wake of the First World War. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A tragic time that gave way to a complicated -- and bittersweet -- new beginning.
“I wanted something more human, more society,” Gelinas said. “So there is no heroes in particular, it's just ordinary people facing a lot of challenges and that was my main purpose is that they decide to change the society.”
Felicity Osepchook is the museum’s head of archives and research library. She said the post-war era had many challenges.
“It wasn't all roses for sure,” Osepchook said. “You had to deal with the pandemic, the flu, there were a lot of soldiers who lost limbs. They were in the military hospital. It's hard for us to imagine in our day in society today.”
Local historian Harold Wright says the adjustment was incredibly difficult.
“I knew an awful lot of First World War veterans and they all said it was horrendous trying to come back into a social, family, work environment,” Wright said. “Today we call it PTSD.”
Osepchook hopes the exhibition will make people think.
“I think it will be very much food for thought,” she said. “Make people think about what happened, appreciate what we have today, and maybe we can learn from history once in a while.”
The exhibition is open until April of next year. Until then, visitors can come here and take a walk through time.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.