Terra Foundation-supported Events

Lecture: Race and Battlefield: Seeing and Not Seeing the Civil War

The American Civil War (1861–65) was precipitated by the issue of slavery, and the industrial-level slaughter made it the bloodiest war ever fought by the United States. Why, then, was there so little painting during the Civil War depicting race, slavery, and the battlefield?

Join John Davis, Alice Pratt Brown Professor of Art at Smith College and the Terra Visiting Professor of American Art at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, who will explore the climate for treating these subjects during the conflict and show how during the post-Reconstruction years (1880s) a different set of national priorities made it possible, and even necessary, to represent the Civil War battlefield.

This lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North, at the Newberry from Sept. 27–Mar. 24, 2014.