Book Series The Studies in Medallic Art, vol. 3

The Art of Devastation: Medals and Posters of the Great War

Patricia Phagan, Peter van Alfen (eds)

  • Pages: 356 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:343 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-0-89722-348-5
  • Hardback
  • Available


Timed to coincide with the centennial of US involvement in the First World War, the exhibition, The Art of Devastation, opened on January 27, 2017, at the Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. Jointly curated by Patricia Phagan (Vassar) and Peter van Alfen (ANS), this exhibition explored for the first time on American soil the intertwined roles of posters and medals in shaping public opinion of the war and in steering Americans into it. This companion volume includes six chapters focusing on Great War art and propaganda by experts in medallic and graphic arts of the early 20th century, followed by a complete, full-color catalog of the 130 medals and posters featured in the exhibit. 

Winner, 2017 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for best book on tokens and medals



Chapter 1. 1914–1918: The First World War in the United States
Chapter 2. Rally ‘Round the Flag: Posters of the Great War
Chapter 3. Medals of the European Allies of the Great War
Chapter 4. Medallic Art in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War
Chapter 5. Rising above the Propaganda: German Medallic Art in Britain (1914–1919)
Chapter 6. Medallic Art and the Great War in America 

Artist Index
Subject Index