“Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War” at Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library

December 8, 2016
Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library

On the eve of the centenary of the United States’ entry into “the great war,” this event features renowned scholars David Lubin and Laurent Le Bon in a discussion on the visual arts during a singular moment of global conflict. Two exhibitions form the central focus of the dialogue: the first, World War One and American Art, co-curated by David Lubin and which opened at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in November, 2016, represents the first major museum exhibition devoted to exploring the responses of American artists to the First World War. The second, 1917, was co-curated by Laurent Le Bon at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in 2012, and focused on that specific year to address the broader theme of artistic creation during wartime.


  • Laurent Le Bon has been Director of the Musée Picasso-Paris since 2014. Prior to this position, he was curator at the Musée national d’art moderne–Centre Pompidou (2001–2010), where he was responsible for the exhibition DADA (2001). Between 2010 and 2014, he served as Director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, where he curated important exhibitions including the museum’s inaugural show Chefs-d’oeuvre? (2010-2011) and 1917 (2012). He has also written and edited many essays spanning a wide range of topics from design and modern and contemporary art to public commissions.
  • David Lubin is Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University (North Carolina) and the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the University of Oxford in 2016–2017. A specialist of American visual arts and film history, he is the author of Act of Portrayal (1985), Picturing a Nation: Art and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century America (1996), Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images (2003), and Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Videography by Romain Grésillon.