The Great War is no longer in black and white. To commemorate 100 years since the Armistice, The Vimy Foundation has colorized 150 original photographs from World War 1. These photos have been drawn from the vast archival collection at Library and Archives Canada as well as local archives across the country such as: the City of Toronto Archives, the Glenbow Museum and Archives, the City of Vancouver Archives, the Rooms in Newfoundland and the Nova Scotia Archives.
Does color change our view of things, alter mood and trigger emotions? Surely it does.
“Canada was a nation of fewer than eight million people when the war broke out in Aug., 1914 and more than 60,000 Canadians died fighting…in a war not even declared by Parliament in Ottawa but at Westminster in London.”
Canada employed three official photographers between 1916 and 1918—Captain Harry Knobel (from April-August 1916); Captain William Ivor Castle (from August 1916-June 1917); and Lieutenant William Rider-Rider (from June 1917-November 1918). Together they produced over 4000 photographs of Canadians at war that were printed in newspapers, sold as souvenirs and put on exhibition. Each of the official photographs has a negative number—usually visible in a corner— that begins with an “O” and is followed by the number it was received by the CWRO (O-1450 was the 1450th photograph received by the organization from the photographers).
Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) considered the symbolism of different colors”
I’ll try out the pencils
sharpened to the point of infinity
which always sees ahead:
Green — good warm light
Magenta — Aztec. old TLAPALI
blood of prickly pear, the
brightest and oldest
[Brown —] color of mole, of leaves becoming
[Yellow —] madness sickness fear
part of the sun and of happiness
[Blue —] electricity and purity love
[Black —] nothing is black — really nothing
[Olive —] leaves, sadness, science, the whole
of Germany is this color
[Yellow —] more madness and mystery
all the ghosts wear
clothes of this color, or at
least their underclothes
[Dark blue —] color of bad advertisements
and of good business
[Blue —]distance. Tenderness
can also be this blue
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