M996.2.1.9x | Sketch of Poppies from John McCrae's Maryland Sketchbook

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Sketch of Poppies from John McCrae's Maryland Sketchbook
John McCrae
Abouth 1896, 19th century or 20th century
Ink on paper
2.5 x 7 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Guelph Museums
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Keys to History

John McCrae enjoyed sketching, and throughout his life captured many of his experiences in sketchbooks. Prophetically, he had drawn these poppies and pasted this sketch into a book in 1896.

In Flanders Fields inspired "Poppy Days" during which widows and orphans sold artificial poppies they had made to raise funds to help rebuild devastated France. On September 20, 1919 the American Legion adopted the poppy as its national emblem of remembrance. Today we wear the poppy every November to continue a collective act of remembrance.

  • What

    This pen and ink drawing is from one of McCrae's sketchbooks entitled 'A Maryland Summer'. He enjoyed drawing, and filled several sketchbooks in the course of his lifetime.

  • Where

    McCrae sketched these poppies near Mount Airy, Maryland, U.S.A. He took his sketchbook with him on outings, and he drew many scenes from nature.

  • When

    In 1896, before McCrae's third year of medical studies, he and several other students spent the summer interning at the Mount Airy Convalescent Hospital for Sick Children (Maryland, U.S.A.).

  • Who

    When John McCrae lived in Montreal, he was a member of the Montreal Pen and Pencil Club. This private men's club for artists and writers existed from 1890 to 1966, with a mandate to promote the arts and letters in Montreal through readings, exhibitions and an annual festival.