New Brunswick·Video

N.B. collector's Vimy, Ypres lithographs to go on display at Canadian Embassy

As Canadians commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge next month, New Brunswick art collector Ray Adams is helping the Canadian Embassy in Washington mark the event by shipping six of his rare First World War lithographs for an exhibition.

6 First World War works by F.T. Bush will be exhibited in Washington in April

WWI lithographs off to Washington

5 years ago
Duration 2:11
The works were produced by official war artist F.T. Bush who completed the lithographs in 1917 around Ypres in Belgium and Vimy Ridge in France as part of War Memorial Program.

As Canadians gather to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge next month, New Brunswick art collector Ray Adams says he's helping the Canadian Embassy in Washington mark the event by shipping six of his rare First World War lithographs for an exhibition.

The works were produced by soldier and official war artist Frederick Thwaites Bush, who completed the lithographs in 1917 around Ypres in Belgium and Vimy Ridge in France as part of the War Memorial Program.

Bush, who was also an architect, came to Canada from England before the First World War but wound up going back across the Atlantic to fight the Germans when he enlisted with the 29th battalion in Vancouver in August 1914. In addition to creating the lithographs, Adams says Bush also painted camouflage to protect Allied soldiers.

The embassy exhibition of Bush's lithographs is significant because Adams believes it's the first time all six have been displayed in public.

One of three works by F.T. Bush of Vimy Ridge. (CBC)

Adams' collection

The retired businessman and former teacher and administrator says he developed an appreciation for art years ago but only made a foray into collecting it later on.

Adams started his collection of Bush's lithographs with one, but his collection soon expanded. When the opportunity came to get all six of Bush's works, Adams jumped at it.

"I never dreamed that I'd have the opportunity to buy all six," he added. "It took me five minutes to buy them. I made my decision that quickly."

The lithographs will make their way to the Canadian Embassy through Adams's son, a lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian Army who is stationed at the embassy.

For Adams, the exhibition next month is a way to share his collection and his love of art with the public as well as do his part to preserve military history through art.

"This exhibition at the Canadian Embassy is going to honour Canadian soldiers, men and women, who signed up and went to war," he said. "It also honours the people who signed up and stayed in Canada. It's a way of saying thank you."

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