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Huntington to commemorate Civil War anniversary with photography exhibition

April 11, 2011 |  1:45 pm

Gardner To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, the Huntington Library said it will launch a major show of photographs next year, with a sidebar exhibition devoted to manuscripts from the era. The shows will feature some of the work of famed war photographer Mathew Brady, who captured battlefield images and notable politicians from the period, and is considered one of the pioneers of photojournalism.

The Huntington said that the photography show will open in October 2012. It will also feature a complete set of photographs by Alexander Gardner depicting the execution of the conspirators in the Lincoln assassination, seen left, as well as war photographs by Andrew J. Russell and George N. Barnard. In addition, a "Wanted" poster from the Lincoln assassination will be included.

The exhibition will feature approximately 150 items from the Huntington's collections and archives.

The sidebar exhibition, also starting in the fall of 2012, will offer a display of letters, diaries, prints, posters and newspaper and magazine articles from the period, as well as various renditions of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

In addition, the Huntington announced plans for a conference this October titled “Civil War Lives,” which it said would offer new perspectives on figures such as Louisa May Alcott, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee and Lincoln. Among the participants are noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson, whose "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era" won the Pulitzer Prize for history; Brenda Stevenson, professor of history and chair of the UCLA program in AfroAmerican studies, and Ronald C. White Jr., author of the 2009 book "A. Lincoln: A Biography."

The Huntington said it will be partnering with Apple to make its audio materials on the Civil War available for download on the main iTunes U site. These audio segments will feature a number of authors, scholars and historians.


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 -- David Ng

Photos, from top: Alexander Gardner's "Sic Semper Sicariis" (Thus Be it ever With Assassins), albumen print, July 7, 1865. Credit: Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington mansion in 2010. Credit: Rick Loomis / For the Los Angeles Times.