Thursday, August 27, 2009
Dixon’s Civil War Exhibit Punctuated by Whitman’s Poetry
from the article,
“When I first started thinking about this exhibition, I was thinking of a landscape show from the 1860s,” said Sharp, who curated the exhibition himself. “I started thinking about the relationship between landscapes and poetry – poetry led to Walt Whitman, and next thing I knew I’m doing this Cecil B. de Mille version of this little show.
“That’s the wonderful thing about doing these kinds of projects. They often take you to places you didn’t expect to go.”
The exhibition leads viewers through five “chapters” of Whitman’s experience of the war, beginning with the news that his brother, George, had been wounded in the battle of Fredericksburg.
Walt Whitman, who had remained relatively unknown despite the third edition of his masterpiece “Leaves of Grass” being published, boarded a train the same day and found his brother alive in a hospital camp, but stayed on to nurse wounded soldiers.
The exhibition includes more than 60 pieces by American artists from every genre up through the mid-19th century from the romantically influenced Hudson School to Daguerreotype portraiture. Among those are Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Frederic Church and John Frederick Kensett.
“What we began to look for was the variety of expression,” Sharp said. “What we didn’t want is to illustrate the war. We wanted works that expressed the war.”
Posted by Chris Mansel at 4:26 AM