World Unity or Oblivion

  • Berthold Nebel, World Unity or Oblivion, 1945, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle, 1972.167.33

Luce Center Label

Research has not revealed the purpose of Berthold Nebel’s medal design, but the sculptor was one of many in Europe and the United States who created artworks memorializing the tragedy of the Second World War. On the obverse, an American soldier offers water to a wounded comrade. On the reverse, a mushroom cloud explodes over the abstracted bodies of thousands of war dead, signaling a new and terrifying threat that accompanied the end of the global conflict.

Title
World Unity or Oblivion
Artist
Commissioner
Founder
Date
1945
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle

Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze
Classifications
Keywords
  • Disaster – accident – explosion
  • State of being – illness – wound
  • Occupation – military – soldier
  • Figure group – male
  • State of being – death
Object Number
1972.167.33
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI