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Cincinnati Museum Center photograph exhibition celebrates Cincinnatians in World War I

CINCINNATI – In December 1918, just a month after World War I’s end, the US and Allied Governments War Exposition at Music Hall celebrated the Allied victory and the Cincinnatians who served. The Expo featured photographs of area servicemen and women, loaned to the Expo by local families, as well as uniforms, flags and more. Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is diving into its collections to showcase some of those pieces, including many for the first time in over 100 years. Until We Meet Again: Cincinnati Portraits from World War I opens June 28, 2019, the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war.

Of the nearly 6,000 photographs loaned to organizers for the 1918 Expo, 2,625 were donated to the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, a predecessor to CMC’s Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Until We Meet Again: Cincinnati Portraits from World War I features 80 original photographs from that collection and some of the original letters that accompanied them. A section of the exhibition will include photographs of family members who served together and, like the expo in 1918, there will also be a selection of Gold Star Service Members. Photographs of women who served, mostly in the service of the Red Cross, are also included in the exhibition.

One of the more interesting features of some of the photographs is the notes written on the back by family members. These photographs will be displayed in a way that allows guests to see both sides, including the handwriting scrawled across the back.

A U.S. Army uniform and a Red Cross uniform from CMC’s collections supplement the photographs, along with service flags, posters and pieces of ephemera from the Expo.

Until We Meet Again: Portraits from World War I opens June 28, 2019 in the Ruthven Community Gallery at Cincinnati Museum Center. The exhibition is free.

CMC would like to thank FotoFocus for their support in this exhibition and the digitization of the collection of 2,625 photographs, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for providing reproductions of the records for seven Gold Star Members included in the exhibition and for digitizing the collection. Until We Meet Again: Cincinnati Portraits from World War I is part of FotoFocus.

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