ISU exhibit showcases art major’s photographic look into WWII history

When School of Art senior Ashley Koenig was in high school, she attended a World War II reenactment and was eternally altered by its fascinating history.

After researching various family members’ roles in the historic war, Koenig knew that her curiosity in WWII was an interest to be pursued.

“Once I came to ISU and began the photography program, I started photographing WWII reenactments, seeing how far I could push the line before you questioned when the photographs were actually taken,” Koenig said.

She began meeting and interviewing veterans regarding their experience in WWII, ultimately sparking her exhibit known as Living His Story.

Koenig will showcase Living His Story, a collection of photographs and interviews, with the ISU community from Jan. 13 to March 31 in Milner Library.

The exhibit artistically reveals photographs of veterans and their first-hand accounts of WWII.

Each story is presented through text, as well as an audio component available through the library.

Selected WWII posters and samples of Newsmaps from Milner Library’s Government Document collections will also be on display.

For Koenig, the various encounters she had with veterans are what provided her with a truly unforgettable experience.

“It has been amazing. Everyone I have talked to is extremely humble and kind,” Koenig said.

Koenig would begin each interview with three, basic questions: Where were you born? Were you enlisted or drafted? Where did you go?

Koenig said the responses were more than she could have ever imagined.

“Some stories are humorous, and other times, the stories break your heart. But whichever the case, I get butterflies in my stomach each time I interview.”

The Living His Story exhibit is free and open to the ISU community.

“Through experiencing this exhibit, I hope the public gains appreciation and an increased awareness for this country’s veterans,” Koenig said.

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