German soldier's postcards on display at The Printing Museum

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- There's a postcard of a peaceful French countryside, another post card of a horse, and then someone wounded. They grace the walls of The Printing Museum, as part of a truly unique exhibition. In fact, each card is a haunting hand painted image from the front lines of World War I, by a German soldier named Otto Schubert.

"I stumbled onto a stack of postcards when I pulled an old envelope off the top of a book shelf," said Professor Irene Guenther, who discovered the post cards while reorganizing her late father's books. For the past eight years, she expanded and researched the collection of World War I art. Many of what she found are by German soldiers on the front lines.

"It's part of their trying to make sense of The War and their terrible sacrifices was to make art, and maybe through art to find meaning through their sacrifices," Guenther said.

Besides the images from German soldiers, the exhibit also includes the work of American soldiers, including artifacts and photos from Houston. In various ways, they show how soldiers from both sides of the war coped and remembered their toughest moments.

"Many aspects of the show has been referred to the social media and social currency of the early 20th' century," said Keelin Burrows, Curator of The Printing Museum. "It's a central way of communicating with the families back home."

In all, more than 150 pieces of artifacts encompass the Postcards from the Trenches show, which is on display through Valentine's Day in Houston.

"So what I really hope is that people leave the exhibit and they think of the war in terms of individual soldiers, who tried to make sense of the war," said Guenther, who says her late parents would be proud of her efforts.

Guenther, who is a professor at the University of Houston's Honor's College, next hopes to display the exhibit in Germany.
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