SAN MARINO, CA.-
As the nation begins to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
announces its plans for a major exhibition of photographs opening in October 2012 along with a companion exhibition of manuscript material. And this fall, The Huntington will hold a scholarly conference titled Civil War Lives, featuring some of the most prominent Civil War scholars in the country.
The largest undertaken of Civil War images at The Huntington, the photographs exhibition will be presented in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery and draw from the institutions deep archives relating to the period, begun when Henry E. Huntington purchased two of the Big Five collections of Abraham Lincoln materials early in the 20th century. The show will highlight some 150 works from the extensive Civil War images collection as well as reveal additional collection highlights on The Huntingtons website.
The Huntington is the repository for a substantial amount of Civil War materialsfrom the work of famed war photographer Mathew Brady to Lincolns handwritten pocket diary, providing his early views on emancipation, said David Zeidberg, the Avery Director of the Library. Were looking forward to this opportunity to bring to light this material, most of which has rarely been on public view.
Exhibition of Civil War Photographs
The Civil War happened at the very moment that photographic and printing technologies made imagery available to a rapt audience, said Jennifer Watts, curator of photographs, who is organizing the exhibition. This exhibition will show how images explained and reflected a period shaped by wrenching events.
The American Civil War killed 620,000 soldiers, exceeding the combined losses in all other major conflicts, from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. April 12 marks the beginning of the war in 1861, when Confederate troops fired on Union soldiers stationed at Fort Sumter, S.C.
Key items in the exhibition will include a complete set of photographs by Alexander Gardner depicting the execution of the Lincoln conspirators; a rare Wanted poster from the Lincoln assassination; portraits of the battlefield dead and wounded by Mathew Brady and others; the funeral catafalques of Lincoln and General Grant; rare war views by photographer Andrew J. Russell; George N. Barnards Photographic Views of Shermans Campaign; Civil War veteran and avid collector John P. Nicholsons photo albums and images related to the establishment of Gettysburg as a national monument; and James E. Taylors Civil War scrapbooks, which include battlefield images as well as images used as aids for illustrations in Leslies Illustrated News.
In a related exhibition, The Huntington will mount a display of Civil War library material in the West Hall of the Library, also from fall 2012 to early 2013. Curated by Olga Tsapina, the Norris Foundation Curator of American Historical Manuscripts, the exhibition will include letters, diaries, prints, posters, and newspaper and magazine articles from the period, as well as various renditions of the Gettysburg Address.
This Oct. 21 and 22, The Huntington will hold a conference titled Civil War Lives, co-convened by historians Joan Waugh of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Gary W. Gallagher of the University of Virginia. The conference features fresh perspectives on a diverse group of prominent Civil War figures, including Louisa May Alcott, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Charlotte Forten, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln.
Key among the participants will be David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History, Yale University, and director, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition; James M. McPherson, George Henry David 86 Professor of American History Emeritus, Princeton University; Brenda Stevenson, professor of history and chair of the interdepartmental program in Afro-American studies, University of California, Los Angeles; and Ronald C. White Jr., acclaimed author of A. Lincoln: A Biography, published in 2009.
Civil War Online
The Huntington regularly hosts speakers on a range of topics, and many of those lectures are featured on The Huntingtons iTunes U site. In a special arrangement with Apple, The Huntingtons audio materials on the Civil War will be featured on iTunes U to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the war. Available programs feature distinguished authors, scholars, and historians, including David W. Blight, Stephen B. Cushman, Daniel Walker Howe, James M. McPherson, Ronald C. White Jr., and Sean Wilentz.