Imperial War Museums Arts Partnership Announced

Leicester has been chosen as one of five UK cities to feature in a prestigious commemorative project reflecting on conflict since the end of the First World War.

Published: 18 May 2022

Leicester Museums and Galleries is part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.

The city’s museums have been awarded £250,000 from the Imperial War Museums’ project which involves a series of world-renowned artists working with local partners to create specially-commissioned artworks to commemorate the heritage of conflict.

Leicester’s commission will commemorate its role as a City of Sanctuary, with a significant public artwork inspired by the stories of local people affected by the upheaval and displacement caused by conflict.

Details are due to be announced later this year on the artist who will be working with Leicester Museums and Galleries on the project. The commissioned artworks are due to go on public display during 2023 and 2024.

Building on over 100 years of contemporary art commissioning by IWM, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund also continues the vision and reach of 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary which engaged 35 million people, worked with 420 artists from 40 countries and staged projects in 220 locations across the UK, with 600 partner arts and heritage organisations.

The project is partly funded by £2.5million in royalties from the breath-taking First World War feature They Shall Not Grow Old, in which acclaimed Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson painstakingly restored and digitalised archive footage of life on the Western Front.

Alongside Leicester, there will be major commissions in Derry/Londonderry, Gateshead, Swansea and Glasgow, along with smaller commemorative projects involving a total of 22 artists working with 20 cultural organisations across the UK.

Read the full story on the Leicester City Council news page.

IMAGE: Colourised footage artistic rendition 2018 – THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD by WingNut Films with Peter Jackson. Original black and white film © IWM.