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Author Archive

Presentations About Selected Topics: Paintings by Winslow Homer

Peter Wood, emeritus professor of history at Duke University, discusses the career of Winslow Homer and his portrayals of African Americans during the Civil War. This talk took place on July 12, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture of the American Civil War, an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers. Watch the […]

Presentations About Selected Topics: Emancipation

Harold Holzer, chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and the author of numerous books on Lincoln and the Civil War, talks about the visual representations of the emancipation proclamation as well as the images of Abraham Lincoln as emancipator. This talk took place on July 19, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture of […]

Presentations About Civil War Visual Media: Illustrated Press

Joshua Brown, Executive Director of the American Social History Project and Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, discusses the pictorial journalism of the Civil War and the ways battlefront artists covered the conflict before photography could document warfare. This talk took place on July 11, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture of […]

Presentations About Civil War Visual Media: Cartoons

Richard Samuel West, historian of cartoons and popular publications and founder of New England’s Periodyssey, discusses the range of topics in and formats of political cartoons published during the Civil War and delineates how the medium changed obver the course of the conflict. This talk took place on July 16, 2012, as part of The […]

Presentations About Civil War Visual Media: Prints

Georgia Barnhill, Curator of Graphic Arts Emerita at the American Antiquarian Society, discusses the popular prints that were published during the Civil War and considers the ways they were used as decoration, education, commemoration, illustration, and propaganda. This talk took place on July 17, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture of the American Civil […]

Presentations About Civil War Visual Media: Public Sculpture

Cynthia Mills (1947-2014), former executive editor of American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, traces the arc of Civil War commemorative public sculpture, describes the similarities and differences between northern and southern monuments, and discusses their continued uses and controversies. This talk took place on July 19, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture […]

Presentations About Civil War Visual Media: Photography

Anthony Lee, professor of art history at Mount Holyoke College, discusses the broad range and types of photographs taken during the Civil War and ponders why some have received more attention than others. This talk took place on July 10, 2012, as part of The Visual Culture of the American Civil War, an NEH Summer […]

“For a Noble Man, a Prince”: Images and Identity in Colonial America

Phyllis Hunter, University of North Carolina, Greensboro,and Paul Staiti, Mount Holyoke College

Images and objects from paintings to wallpaper and almanac prints to furniture served to shape their owners identities in British America before the revolution. This activity assists in deciphering the messages in visual images that convey social status and economic power in the late colonial period.

White into Black: Seeing Race, Slavery, and Anti-Slavery in Antebellum America

Sarah L. Burns, Indiana University, and Joshua Brown, The Graduate Center, CUNY

This exploration of popular images of slavery and abolition provides close readings of a range of mid-nineteenth century visual works, including statues, political cartoons, reform illustrations, paintings, and photographic portraits. Examining these diverse sources reveals the complicated ways that images influenced popular understanding about race and equality in the antebellum period, and how visual media were used in the struggle to end slavery.

Picturing The American West

Catherine J. Lavender, The College of Staten Island/City University of New York

This essay provides a brief chronological overview of the visual evidence available for teaching about the American West. Lavender discusses some of the first representations of the region by the different populations that claimed it as their own, depictions of the West as a site of nineteenth-century U.S. expansionism, and visual materials that illustrate the complicated ways the region’s distinctiveness has been represented into the twentieth century.