T.J. Mcnamara on the Great War and Its Effect on the Spiritual in Art

T.J. Mc Namara

1 November 2017
Remuera Library

T.J. McNamara gave a moving talk on the Great War and its effect on the spiritual in art, on 1st November 2017 for Remuera Heritage at the Remuera Library. He spoke about his Uncle Clive McNamara who died at Messines in Belgium on 8 June 1917. TJ read aloud poems from a well-thumbed copy of Up the line to death: the war poets, 1914-1918: an anthology of poems by men who fought and died in the war e.g. Patrick John Stewart who died at Gallipoli, Rudyard Kipling, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, and John McRae who wrote In Flanders Field.

The art post-WW1 was equally striking and forceful, with the images of war and it’s after effects, by Kathe Kollwitz, Otto Dix, John Singer Sargent, and Horace Moore-Jones (1868-1922, who was famous for his Gallipoli paintings of Simpson and his donkey. His mother Sarah Moore-Jones was the principal of Ladies College in Remuera and Horace was an art teacher there pre-1914. There were 5 or 6 versions of the painting. A version owned by the Commerce Club of Remuera was sold in July 2015 for $420,000 plus commissions. The Commerce Club had bought it from Horace’s widow in 1926 for £300.

Up the line to death: the war poets, 1914-1918: an anthology / selected and arranged, with introduction and notes by Brian Gardner; foreword by Edmund Blunden Book | Methuen | 1986, 1976.