Following the end of the war, attention turned to where New Zealand's official First World War art collection would be stored. Plans for a National War Memorial Museum in Wellington were never completed, leaving the collection in limbo for the next thirty years
George Edmund Butler became New Zealand’s second official war artist in August 1918 – as it turned out, just three months before the end of the war. There are almost 100 of his works in New Zealand's National Collection of War Art, making him this country's most prolific First World War artist.
Nugent Herrmann Welch was New Zealand’s first ‘war artist.’ The 32 works that he made as an official war artist stand as a unique and highly personal record of New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War from the perspective of a soldier who served within the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF).
New Zealand soldiers used art to interpret the experience of the war for an audience of noncombatant civilians. Civilian artists in turn produced works that responded to and explored the public’s perception of the war.