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Exhibition: Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War as well as to coincide with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, the George Eastman House will be presenting a selection of historical photographs of Civil War sites and circumstances by photographers including George Barnard, Mathew Brady, and Alexander Gardner. The exhibition emphasizes rare items in the George Eastman House collection and explores how photography was used during this period to record the war, promote popular causes, and commemorate those who sacrificed their lives.

The photographs of sweeping battlefields, soldiers, famous figures, fortress interiors, prisons, and post-Civil War memorial sites were captured in a variety of ways, such as portrait studios set up near encampments, lantern-slide artists traveling with troops, and photographers on the sidelines of battlefields (although images could only be taken after battle, since the technology at this time could not capture action). Many of the featured photographs are held only at Eastman House and this is the first time the museum’s Civil War imagery is comprehensively being displayed in its 64-year history.

The Eastman House display will also feature two cameras to illustrate equipment used during the Civil War - a stereo camera (1864) owned by the Mathew Brady Studio and a Lewis wet-plate camera (1862).

Details of the exhibition can be found here.

 

Photo:  Alexander Gardner. LEWIS PAYNE, ONE OF THE LINCOLN CONSPIRATORS BEFORE HIS EXECUTION.
From The Lincoln Conspiracy Album, 1865. George Eastman House Collection

 

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