War Art Piece 8- The Spirit of Canada’s Women

canada women

Question 1:

What aspect of war, or event, does this piece of art depict?

The aspect of the war depicted is the mobilization of women as a way to free up men for combat. This piece of art depicts women in uniform; as such this is a poster asking for women to join the army directly, as opposed to doing jobs on the home front. The marching would make it seem like they are to serve in an active role, however the lack of rifles would imply that they are not to serve combat roles, continuing the normality of combat being a man’s job with women usually serving as clerks, typists, phone operators, and cooks. 

– Alexander Penny 

Question 2:

Who created this piece of art?Artist Gordon K. Odell was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1903. Odell began drawing at an early age, and in 1913, he won second prize (“a good pocket knife”) in the School Arts Guild’s “Crayon Investigation Contest”. His illustrations emerged before the public eye in the early 1920s, and would continue to draw attention until the 1950s. Throughout the 1930s, he would illustrate clothing advertisements for the Tooke Brothers, and eventually, Odell created some of the Second World War’s most influential propaganda posters.

wikidot.com. “Artists: “O”.” Index of Canadian Illustrators. http://canadianillustrators.wikidot.com/o (accessed March 3, 2013).

Library of the University of Michigan. “The Crayon Investigation Contest.” The School Arts Magazine, January 1913.

– Kelsey Lauren Casey

Questions 3:

Where was this piece of art created?

This piece of art is a propaganda poster supporting the women already apart of the army by trying to recruit more women to the army during World War Two.  This specific poster was created in Canada as it pertains to the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.

– Sarah Morris

Question 4:

why was this art piece created?

This art piece was created to show that women could fight in the army at the same strength and power as Joan of Arc. Its purpose was to allow women to be involved, which was something new to females in Canada. Because Joan of Arc was such an important role in History, it gives women the idea that they too can be important and remembered as well as strong like the male dominance in the army.
– Kirsten Myhal

Question 5:  

What does this piece of art tell us about the experience of war?

This piece of art is trying to show the importance of women in the war. It is depicting women in ranks similar to men led by a Joan of Arc figure. This means that the ones who were making the poster were trying to appeal to the French. This relates to the war because in WW1 the French did not agree with Canadian involvement and thus did not receive as much support from Quebec on the home front. WW2 was a different story as the government realized they would need the support of French industry to help supply the war. The poster also has the words “The Spirit of Canada’s Women” showing how the support of women could also come religiously.

– Kyle Singleton

Question 6:

How accurate is this depiction of war?

This piece of war art shows women being commanded by the ghost of Joan of Arc. This poster is not accurate in the sense that Joan of Arc was a warrior and the women in CWAC (Canadian Women’s Army Corps) did not fight in battle. They were deployed to relieve men from non-combat positions allowing more men to fight in the war.

– Travis Colonna

This piece furthers our understanding of Canadian history because it plays on both the need for women in both the world wars and the need to entice the French just as much as the English (and often separately). Odell was trying to show that for the government to be able to reach a majority of the population they needed to branch out to both the English and French populations. In this particular example the obvious reference to Joan of Arc means that they are looking to French women to help support the war effort. Our understanding of the First World War is that French women are often overlooked and did not agree with Canadian participation in the war where as during the Second World War more French understood Canada’s involvement.

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