From 2013 to 2019 IWM worked alongside 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary established by DCMS, to connect people across the world with the First World War through extraordinary arts experiences. 14-18 NOW engaged 35 million people in the UK, 8 million of them under the age of 25.
IWM was ideally placed to support 14-18 NOW due to their founding remit, expertise and international partnerships. This involved providing accommodation for the programme at IWM London, and operational and curatorial support, which extends beyond the programme’s close in 2019 to ensure a sustainable legacy. This includes hosting the programme website until 2023 and assimilating the programme’s electronic archive into IWM’s Museum Archive, a portion of which, including the Jeremy Deller archive, will be publicly available in perpetuity.
The programme featured 107 projects producing 269 new artworks in 220 locations across the UK, as well as broadcast and online. Artists took their inspiration from a range of First World War heritage, including the archives of IWM and other heritage organisations. 14-18 NOW toured the iconic poppy sculptures Wave and Weeping Window by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper to 19 locations around the UK where they were seen by over 4.6 million people. IWM were the final touring destination for the poppy sculptures with Wave at IWM North and Weeping Window at IWM London, a proportion of which have been acquired into IWM’s collection to be safeguarded for the nation.