Banner: Long Red Poppies © Rae Smith

Eight million horses, mules and donkeys died in the First World War and this exhibition honoured these brave creatures who suffered the same appalling conditions as their soldier companions. 

The exhibition explored how the horse was depicted in war, both heroically and as beast-of-burden, by some of the leading British artists of the day, including William Roberts, Sir Alfred Munnings and Lucy Kemp-Welch. The horse was portrayed through historical fine art and contemporary elements such as ‘Joey’, the life-size horse puppet from the National Theatre’s acclaimed stage production of War Horse, on temporary loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and drawings by Illustrator and Theatre Designer Rae Smith. 

A social history display looked at the care and training of the horse and local effects of the requisition of horses during the war. 

The Grey Mare © the estate of Sir Alfred Munnings, The cast of War Horse at the New London Theatre, photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg

25 November 2014 – 1 March 2015

To find out more about the art of Sir Alfred Munnings, whose art works featured in the exhibition, read our blog by guest writers Dr Bill Teatheredge, Curatorial Researcher at the Munnings Collection and Jenny Hand, Director at The Munnings Art Museum.