‘The Architecture of War Memorials’ is a surrogate exhibition of architectural material from the Atkinson Brierley archive held at the Borthwick Institute. The exhibition takes in the different forms in which First World War memorials were conceived and realised. It displays the grand and the modest, the active and the passive, and provides a concise survey of the design of First World War Memorials. The exhibition focuses on a handful of memorials from the archive, and highlights the different forms in which physical memorialisation took place following The First World War.
Differences in designs of memorials reflect differences in the communities in which they stand, with the village memorial to 34 men and the town memorial to 3,000 showing the scale and breadth of the loss of life in the First World War. Contrasts of size, function and style are evident, yet all serve one common purpose; to act as a place of remembrance for a community.
The work to digitise these documents has built on the efforts currently on-going within the Borthwick Institute’s Conservation Department, funded by the Patricia and Donald Shepherd Charitable Trust. With the help of volunteers, the Conservation Department has been able to clean and conserve around 25% of the collection, amounting to roughly 1580 plans. All of the plans digitised for this project underwent this treatment.
This exhibition was promoted as part of the 2014 Festival of Ideas.