Kirk Savage (Professor of Art History, University of Pittsburgh)
March 8, 2011
Not only did the Civil War inspire some of the nation’s best painters, sculptors, photographers, and illustrators, it also changed the face of town and countryside as monuments to soldiers and statesmen of the era spread across the landscape. How did artists come to grips with the new realities of warfare and the unprecedented scale of death it caused? How did the new media of that era (especially photography) change the way that war was represented and understood? What insights did artists offer into the social and political changes happening both on the homefront and battlefront? Did the memorialization of the war in public art create new understandings of the conflict or perpetuate old myths?