Date of Award

May 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Sarah Schaefer

Second Advisor

Jennifer Johung


Art History, History, Modernity, Printable Media, Reproducible Art, War Art


Aspects of modernity, such as the news cycle and ever-changing technologies, have played large roles in the construction of the history of wars through the power of reproducible war art imagery as seen in various public spheres and contexts. These include engravings and photographs of the war in news publications, propaganda posters promoting patriotism, protest posters pleading for peace, and prints and books made by artists for display in galleries. The inundation of these images become ubiquitous with the conflict, and the artists who have a hand in creating these images also have the power to construct and reconstruct histories, inform the public, and reclaim neglected narratives.This paper and the related exhibition running from March 10-May 12, 2022, at the UWM Emile H. Mathis Gallery explores these various contexts through examples of reproducible war art spanning chronologically from the mid nineteenth century up to our contemporary time. The work on display comes mainly from the UWM Art Collection, with some supplemental broadsides and artists’ books loaned from the Special Collections at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. Each section of the paper and the exhibition addresses the historical and technological context of the work at a specific point in time, usually connected to a specific conflict, and the unique ability for reproducible art to reach various audiences and convey various connotations. Through this context and the experience of the exhibition, patterns and connections emerge across time and material, therefore highlighting not only the breadth of reproducible artwork but also the power and influence that art has on the historic record.