My article ” Flour sacks. The art of charity” has been published in the 2020 Yearbook of the In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres!
In the summer of 2019, I conducted research into the decorated WWI flour sacks in the museum’s collection*). The museum possesses 23 original flour sacks, eight of those have been included in Flanders’ List of Masterpieces as unique heritage items.
In my article, I report in word and image on my discoveries and give historical context to the Ypres collection of flour sacks. The following topics are discussed: the supply of food to Belgium; the US charities with a graph of contributions by state; Madame Lalla Vandervelde, her journey through America and successful appeal for aid to the Belgians; examples of the Belgian charities with an infographic showing dozens of sales exhibitions of flour sacks held between 1915-1925; girls’ education in vocational schools with unique photos of their lessons; German censorship on decorated flour sacks.
My conclusion is: decorated flour sacks are the symbol of the many charities run and supported by Belgian women and girls during the occupation, besides the symbol of food aid and gratitude.
The IFFM Yearbook 2020 is beautifully designed by Manu Veracx. The original Dutch article with 17 color and 7 black and white illustrations, is fully translated in English by Marc Hutsebaut; it covers 9 pages.
*) Marc Dejonckheere interviewed me for VIFF Magazine, magazine of The Friends of the In Flanders Fields Museum; “The emotions of the flour sack” was published in September 2019.