Civil War Artifacts in the Smithsonian
The museum collections house many items from the Civil War, including photographs, uniforms and personal diaries
- By Smithsonian.com
- Smithsonian.com, March 04, 2011
(Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Timothy H. O’Sullivan was one of many photographers that Mathew Brady, the so-called father of photojournalism, dispatched to document the troops during the Civil War. “These photographers had a dual duty,” says chief curator Eleanor Harvey. “They were to document the war and what it was really like, and they were to do it at the highest level, often adjusting bodies to get a well-composed picture.” O’Sullivan’s A Harvest of Death, which captured Confederate casualties at Gettysburg in 1863, is part of the museum’s collection and will be exhibited in “The Civil War and American Art,” opening November 16, 2012. “With the gruesomeness of the foreground, the figure on horseback in the background becomes like a grim reaper overseeing his harvest of death,” says Harvey.
by Megan Gambino