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Category Archives:The Civil War

NGA Winslow Homer

The NGA Winslow Homer website was developed by the National Gallery of Art as a companion to its 2005 Winslow Homer exhibit. The site features 35 high resolution versions of Homer€™s oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings, many of them tagged with zoom buttons. The art appears in chronological order and contextualizing text and video clips […]

Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Portraits

The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Portraits was donated to the Smithsonian in 2010, and used in the museum€™s April 2011 exhibition commemorating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.  These portraits show the young men who fought as Union and Confederate soldiers in the Civil War.  Seen together, the ambrotypes […]

Scene in Pleasant Valley, Maryland (October 1862)

Of the 100 U.S. Civil War images found in volumes one and two of Alexander Gardener’s Photographic Sketch Book (1866), one image depicts a black woman: Scene in Pleasant Valley, Maryland.  Why might this be a surprising fact? The answer lies in how you respond to the question: What caused the Civil War? When educators […]

Picturing the Civil War 4: The Memory of the War

How do we remember the Civil War? In this final post I would like briefly to consider the visual images that are attached to our memories of the war-and to think about the multiple ways in which memory and history can diverge. Those of us who teach the Civil War from textbooks in our classrooms […]

Picturing the Civil War 3: African American Soldiers

So far we have talked of the ways in which the Civil War disrupted standard assumptions of how war should look; and also have examined a few of the most popular sentimental images of the war, including a sentimental image of Emancipation. In this post I will consider representations of African American soldiers during the […]

Picturing the Civil War 2: Sentimental Soldiers

In this second part of our forum, I’d like us to consider a few widely-circulated popular images during the Civil War that allow us to think about prevailing cultural beliefs at the time. I will be concentrating entirely on the Union here. The Civil War was, of course, a “home front war” one in which […]

Picturing the Civil War 1

The Civil War was the first war in American history to be illustrated as it occurred- not just through the extraordinary engraved images in the immensely popular Harper’s Weekly, but through widely-distributed Currier & Ives prints; illustrated envelopes (a fad early in the war); illustrated sheet music; pamphlets; cheap yellow-backed iterature; novels; children’s books; souvenir […]