Director’s Choice

My name is Karissa Pizzarello and I am a Masters student from the University of Durham, currently on placement with The Bowes Museum for four weeks. In the past two weeks I have been lucky enough to work on a small display project alongside several members of The Museum’s staff.

As part of ‘To Serve King and Country’, The Museum’s WW1 project it was decided that a display be put together to highlight the project as well as show the public current developments that have been made. Displaying soldier’s sketchbooks, loaned to the Museum for the project, along with newspaper cuttings, store catalogues and letters found in the Museum archives; were all selected to be put on display for the month of April in the entrance hall as part of Director’s Choice.

Taking inspiration from the current Gerald Scarfe exhibition, caricature was chosen as a relevant theme due to material lent to The Bowes Museum as research for the project. The cartoons found in the books (see below), as well as further research into magazines and newspapers of the period express the importance caricature played during World War One. To those on the front lines these drawings helped to pass the time and were a release from a monotonous and at times horrific environment. They additionally helped troop morale by allowing their dark humour of the situation to shine through.

Having never put together an exhibition so quickly before, it was an eye-opening experience but with the support of the staff and the willingness of people to help, we were able to get the text written and sent to design within the week. In the week that followed, a case was chosen, several object layouts were tried and tested and the exhibit was up!!

Karissa Pizzarello.