Winslow Homer, “War for the Union—Bayonet Charge,” Harper’s Weekly, July 12, 1862 Discussion Questions How likely was it that Homer witnessed such a battle? How did he design the scene to bolster home front morale? How did his image reflect old tactics and old ideals of battle?
Winslow Homer, “War for the Union—Bayonet Charge,” Harper’s Weekly, July 12, 1862
Winslow Homer, Defiance: Inviting a Shot Before Petersburg Oil on panel, 1864 Discussion Questions How does this portrayal of battle differ from that in Homer’s “Bayonet Charge”? How is the battlefield and Homer’s image of it organized around the new technology of long-range weaponry?
Winslow Homer, Defiance: Inviting a Shot before Petersburg Oil on panel, 1864
Winslow Homer, “A Sharp-shooter on Picket Duty” Harper’s Weekly, November 15, 1862 Discussion Question How does this image make sense of long-distance sharpshooting, a practice Homer would later call “as near as murder as anything I ever could think of in connection with the army”?
Winslow Homer, “A Sharp-shooter on Picket Duty Harper’s Weekly, November 15, 1862
John Rogers, Sharpshooters Plaster, 1862 Discussion Questions Is Rogers’ plaster group a celebration or a critique of the sharpshooter’s craft? Given that he made it for display in middle-class homes, was it wise for him to undertake this subject?
John Rogers, Sharpshooters, (front) plaster, 1862
John Rogers, Sharpshooters, (back) plaster,1862
Part Two Battlefield Photography: “Bodies in Our Dooryards”
Alexander Gardner View in the Field, on the west side of Hagerstown road, after the Battle of Antietam September, 1862 Discussion Questions The Antietam photographs were the first images of corpses taken in the immediate aftermath of battle. Why were these photographs so shocking? How did they upset the conventions of heroic death and proper care for he dead?
Alexander Gardner, View in the Field, on the west side of Hagerstown road, after the Battle of Antietam, September, 1862
Alexander Gardner A Contrast: Federal buried, Confederate unburied, where they fell, on Battlefield of Antietam September, 1862. Discussion Question Why is this contrast significant?
Alexander Gardner, A Contrast: Federal buried, Confederate unburied, where they fell, on Battlefield of Antietam, September, 1862
James F. Gibson Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter July 1863 Discussion Questions The photographer moved the body and arranged the props before taking the photo. Why? What does this tell us about “documentary” photography?
James F. Gibson, Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, July 1863
John Reekie A Burial Party, Cold Springs Harbor, Virginia April, 1865 Discussion Questions Who is being buried? Who is doing the burying? What are the ironies of this image?
John Reekie, A Burial Party, Cold Springs Harbor, Virginia April, 1865
Part Three Liberation: Slaves, Contraband, and Freedman
John Rogers Camp Life, or Making Friends with the Cook 1862 Discussion Questions How are the two men joined in this narrative? How are they separated from one another? Is this comic, or serious, or both?
John Rogers Camp Life, or Making Friends with the Cook 1862
John Quinicy Adams Ward The Freedman 1863 Discussion Questions How does Ward’s protagonist differ from Rogers’ protagonist in Camp Life? How doesit feel to take the pose of the Freedman? What future prospects does his situation suggest?
John Quinicy Adams Ward The Freedman Bronze, 1863
“A Typical Negro,” Harper’s Weekly, July 4, 1863 Discussion Questions How is the before and after contrast constructed, and what is it supposed to tell us? Why is the scarred back so prominent? How does it serve as an icon of the Union cause?
GORDON AS HE ENTERED OUR LINES. GORDON UNDER MEDICAL INSPECTION. GORDON IN HIS UNIFORM AS A U. S. SOLDIER. “A Typical Negro,” Harper’s Weekly, July 4, 1863
Winslow Homer Near Andersonville (At the Cabin Door) Oil on canvas, 1865-66 Discussion Questions How does Homer construct the image to call into question the issues of loyalty and citizenship? Who are the rightful inhabitants, and who are the occupiers? Who belongs and who does not? How does Homer make the point of view problematic?
Winslow Homer Near Andersonville (At the Cabin Door), 1865-66 Oil on canvas
Winslow Homer Prisoners from the Front Oil on canvas 1866 Discussion Questions How does this painting stereotype the two sides in the War? How does this connect, or not, with the liberation narrative of Part Three?
Winslow Homer, Prisoners from the Front, oil on canvas, 1866
Thomas Nast “Patience on a Monument Harper’s Weekly, October 10, 1868 Discussion Questions How and why does Nast parody a typical public monument? What does this image say about the white South’s perversion of civic values?
Thomas Nast, “Patience on a Monument,” Harper’s Weekly, October 10, 1868
Thomas Ball, Freedmen’s Memorial to Abraham Lincoln, 1876 Discussion Questions Compare this real monument with Thomas Nast’s imaginary one. What is the slave figure doing, and why? Ultimately, how is Ball’s monument more fictional than Nast’s?
Thomas Ball, Freedmen’s Memorial to Abraham Lincoln, 1876
Elizabeth Keckley Liberty Quilt 1860s Discussion Question How does this quilt function as an alternative memorial to the War?
Elizabeth Keckley, Liberty Quilt, 1860s For close-up, visit http://dept.kent.edu/museum/collection/keckley.htmhttp://dept.kent.edu/museum/collection/keckley.htm