Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War Exhibit Opens June 12

Mercyhurst University’s Cummings Art Gallery welcomes Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the George Eastman House commemorating the 150th anniversary of “Mr. Lincoln’s War.” The exhibit presents a selection of facsimile photographs of historical Civil War sites and circumstances by photographers including George Barnard, Mathew Brady, and Alexander Gardner.

The processes that these photographers used are before the era of glass plates. Ambrotypes, albumen prints, lantern slides, carte de visites and tintypes are all represented in facsimile reproductions but executed in a manner that the viewer cannot tell an original from a re-photographed image.

The exhibit is organized by Heather Dana, Cummings Gallery Director and Gary Cardot, Assistant Professor of Art and is made possible by a grant from the Reverend Sylvester Jaworksi Endowment.

At the sesquicentennial of these events, the stillness of what remains in these photographed scenes echoes on in American minds. Destruction, struggle, and loneliness resonate in the haunting empty scenes, but something more is seen in the faces that do appear; a sense of patriotism for a chosen side, an impression of valor in a young face, a feeling of dignity in the face of death.

Mounted as a traditional exhibition, Between the States is divided into sections that address points of interest from photographic history and civil war events. These sections include Gardner’s Sketchbook, Brady’s Album Gallery, Civil War Personalities, Portraits of Soldiers, The CSS Alabama, and The Lincoln Conspiracy. Also on display are artifacts on loan from the Erie County Historical Society.

The opening reception for the exhibition is Thursday, June 12 from 7-9pm. Between the States closes August 13, 2014.

Cummings Gallery Summer Hours: Monday- Friday, 11am-4pm
For more information call (814) 824-2092.

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