3 Baton Rouge museums showcase Louisiana in World War I

A trio of exhibits about Louisiana’s part in World War I will include a walk-through simulation of a trench on the Western Front, propaganda posters and a “trench art” vase made from a spent artillery shell.

The Louisiana State Museum’s Capitol Park Museum , the Old State Capitol Museum and the USS Kidd Veterans Museum all will hold free public receptions on Sept. 28 to open exhibits marking the centennial of the year that the United States entered the war.

“Campaigning for Victory : Poster Art of the Great War” will be shown at the castle-shaped Old State Capitol through Dec. 17.

“I was surprised by how many there were geared toward women,” curator Lauren Davis said. She said that included both posters recruiting for women’s work, such as nurses for the Army and volunteers for the Red Cross, and those asking men to fight for their sweethearts or mothers.

There’s a wider variety of artifacts at the Kidd museum, about four blocks south of the old Capitol, and at the Capitol Park museum, about eight blocks north. Both exhibits will continue well into next year.

The USS Kidd itself, launched in 1943, is strictly for World War II naval exhibits. “It is the best-preserved World War II-configured warship probably in the whole world,” executive director David Beard said.

But, he said, the two-story museum has “a broader mission to interpret and recognize the service and sacrifice of members of the armed forces from Louisiana.”

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