Episode No. 54 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curators Eleanor Harvey and Jennifer Watts.
First, in “The Civil War and American Art,” which opens tomorrow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, curator Eleanor Jones Harvey reveals how artists such as Winslow Homer, Sanford Gifford and Frederic Church, responded to the war in their work. Her show examines how artists bent traditional American landscape painting into a response to the war, how artists experienced the war first-hand and how one artist’s time in uniform led to what seems to be the only known paintings of a militarily occupied American city. The show’s catalogue, published by Yale University Press, is a smart, strikingly exciting page-turner, the best book about American art I’ve read all year.
On the second segment, Huntington curator Jennifer Watts talks about her new show, “A Strange And Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning and Memory in the American Civil War,” an exhibition of more than 200 pictures and other objects from the Huntington’s famed Civil War-related collections. The exhibition is chock full of still-shocking battlefield pictures, rare pictures of Southern troops and of black troops and remarkable photographs of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train. Many of them are available on the Huntington’s exhibition website.
Air date: Nov. 15, 2013.
Martin Johnson Heade, Approaching Thunder Storm, 1859. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Frederic Edwin Church, Meteor of 1860, 1860.
Frederic Edwin Church, Our Banner in the Sky, 1861.
Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi, 1862. Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Albert Bierstadt, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California, 1865. Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
Sanford R. Gifford, Basin of the Patapsco from Federal Hill, Baltimore, 1862, 1862.
Sanford R. Gifford, Fort Federal Hill at Sunset, Baltimore, 1862. Collection of the New York State Military Museum, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
Conrad Wise Chapman, The Flag of Sumter, Oct 20 1863, 1863–64. Collection of The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.
Conrad Wise Chapman, Fort Sumter Interior, Sunrise, Dec. 9, 1863, 1863–64. Collection of the The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.
Albert Bierstadt. Guerrilla Warfare, Civil War, 1862. Collection of The Century Association, New York.
Winslow Homer, Sharpshooter, 1863. Collection of the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.
Winslow Homer, Skirmish in the Wilderness, 1864. Collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art.
Eastman Johnson, The Old Mount Vernon, 1857. Collection of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Eastman Johnson, Negro Life in the South, 1859. Collection of The New York Historical Society.
Sanford R. Gifford, Twilight in the Catskills, 1861. Collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Unidentified photographer, U.S. Colored Troops, Camp William Penn, Philadelphia, c. 1863. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
Jay Dearborn Edwards, Scrapbook 2, page 2 – Photographs by J.D. Edwards depicting Confederate soldiers drilling and at rest near Pensacola, Florida, and environs (detail), c. 1861. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
Andrew J. Russell, Soldiers’ Burying Ground, Alexandria, Va., May 1863, 1863. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
Ridgway Glover, Dispersing the Crowd at Sixth and Chestnut, Philadelphia, 1865. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
Alexander Gardner, Lewis Payne [aka Lewis Powell], One of the Lincoln Conspirators, April 27, 1865. Printed 1890. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
Alexander Gardner, Adjusting the Ropes (top); The Drop (bottom) [Execution of the Lincoln Conspirators], July 7, 1865. Collection of The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.