Museum features private collector’s trench art
Open every Remembrance Day, the Strathcona County Museum & Archives invites the public to pay tribute to those who have served our country.
What is trench art?
Trench art refers to any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war, civilians or a commercially manufactured item directly linked to an armed conflict or its consequences.
Trench art flourished during World War I; however, the term has come to encompass items from any armed conflict in history. It is rare to find a signed item, since it was technically illegal for soldiers to keep shell casings.
“We are proud to display trench art from the collection of local resident Dr. Dwayne Kostura. Soldiers often used shell casings and other metals to create decorative items such as candle holders, lamps and vases,” says Starr Hanson, Manager/Curator. Prisoners of war traded items they had crafted in exchange for food, cigarettes or money. Dr. Kostura has numerous interesting and unusual artifacts, including cigarette lighters made from hand grenades.
Also on display is Remembering Our Fallen: Strathcona County, a book edited and published by the Museum in honour of our fallen veterans, which was presented during Strathcona Celebrates - Strathcona County’s 120th anniversary.