On display March 17, 2022 – January 3, 2023 in the Senator John Alario, Jr. Special Exhibit Hall
On July 23, 1942, a US Navy photographic interpretation unit under Commander R. S. Quackenbush arrived on the Pacific Island of New Caledonia. This unit had just days to process and interpret reconnaissance photos of an island called Guadalcanal before the Marines made their landing. On the other side of the world in New York City, thousands flocked to Road to Victory, a photographic art exhibit curated by Lieutenant Commander Edward Steichen.
The difference in the mission of these two officers was almost as broad as the physical distance that separated them; however, they both were serving vital roles for the ultimate victory in the Pacific. The same tool that could be used to plan a military operation also served as a form of artistic expression that has left an important legacy. That tool was the camera.
Over the course of American involvement in World War II, thousands of sailors and officers filmed training material, created propaganda, produced documentaries, and served as combat photographers. The camera’s use of chemistry and mechanics married with the human perspective created one of the most powerful tools of war and art—and an invaluable resource for recording the memory of World War II.
In The Real Image of War, The National WWII Museum explores the art of documentary photography practiced by Edward Steichen and John Ford compared to the military application of the camera, juxtaposing the military application of still and motion picture photography produced by US Navy Photographer’s Mates against the images created by the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit under the command of Edward Steichen and the documentaries produced by Hollywood film director John Ford.
By demonstrating the technology of the camera, using dramatic imagery and footage of everything from combat to the ordinary life of the US Navy sailor, The Real Image of War will probe the supposed objectivity of documentary photography and examine the motives of the men behind the camera who created a visual record of the war in the Pacific.
The Abra Prentice Foundation
Lois and Lloyd Hawkins, Jr. Foundation
Goody Two Shoes, Inc.
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion
Explore The CampusMuseum Campus Guide
The Louisiana Memorial Pavilion exhibits take visitors into the monumental efforts on the Home Front and to the beaches of Normandy—focusing on the thousands of men and women who made Allied victory in World War II possible.
In a war where the terrain was as deadly as the enemy, this pavilion tells the story of American servicemembers abroad—and how they overcame unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts to win victory in World War II. In over 19,000 square feet of exhibit space, two extraordinary exhibitions bring visitors inside the epic story of the war in its most infamous settings, bringing to life jungles, beaches, mountains, and oceans in 19 immersive galleries.
The Solomon Victory Theater is home to Beyond All Boundaries, a 4D cinematic experience produced exclusively for The National WWII Museum by Tom Hanks—who narrates the film—and Phil Hettema.
The Hall of Democracy represents the center of the Museum’s expanding educational outreach initiatives—providing a space that will enable the institution to share its collections, oral histories, research, and expertise with audiences across the world.
In World War II—the war that changed the world—freedom hung in the balance. Americans answered the call to protect that freedom with 16 million men and women serving in uniform and an untold number of citizens of all ages doing their part on the Home Front. In US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, we honor their contributions.
The official Hotel of The National WWII Museum, this stunning art-deco style property offers first-class accommodations, meeting spaces, and dining options providing a sophisticated lodging experience for guests.
The John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion features glass exterior walls that allow the public a permanent, behind-the-scenes view of the restoration and preservation of priceless WWII artifacts. New to the pavilion is the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Innovation Gallery, which focuses on how problems were solved during World War II through ingenuity and innovation.
Founders Plaza creates an impressive entryway to the Museum campus, safe passage for Museum guests, and a pleasant setting for rest and reflection as part of the visitor experience.
The soaring Bollinger Canopy of Peace, set to stand 150 feet tall, will unify the Museum's diverse campus and establish the Museum as a fixture on the New Orleans skyline.
Three building levels will explore the closing months of the war and immediate postwar years, concluding with an explanation of links to our lives today.