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“Artwork on the Battlefield” Special Program

Last Date:
4/9/22

Time: 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

address

Gettysburg Heritage Center Museum
297 Steinwehr Ave.
Gettysburg, PA

Much of the artwork of Gettysburg is artwork about the battle, created by people living in the 20th and 21st centuries to interpret or describe what happened here. In the terms used by a historian, they are secondary sources. In general, the voices of the veterans have been silent.

Yet, we are surrounded by a rich catalogue of primary sources; the regimental monuments that cover the field were created by the veterans. Most of the leading sculptors of the time worked at Gettysburg; a commission to do a Gettysburg sculpture was valued work. The combination of veterans who had something on their mind and the top sculptors of the day resulted in some outstanding works of art.

Writers David Loose and Leon Reed discuss this unique case of history meeting the arts.*

Events are free to the public.

*Book signings will follow the presentations. 

Schedule:

  • 1 PM – Dave Loose: The Development of Art at Gettysburg
    • Dave Loose, author, and collector of Gettysburg memorabilia presents a program describing how the battle of Gettysburg, the battlefield of Gettysburg, and the stories about the battle were integrated into artforms throughout the first 25 years after the battle. Designed to be an interactive conversation around period Artworks and items from the Dave Loose collection, items are available to be studied, viewed, and handled.
  • 2 PM – Leon Reed: The Development of Gettysburg’s Monumental Landscapes
    • Leon Reed builds on Dave’s presentation and discusses the development of the monumental landscape at Gettysburg through the beginning of the 21st century. He describes the distinct phases of monument building, the themes addressed by the monuments of various time periods, and the sculptors who worked here. Regimental monuments discussed tell stories of regret (149th PA), loss (86th NY), reconciliation (66th NY), lost companions (11th PA, 54th NY), nationalistic pride (74th PA), and other themes. He also discusses the state monuments and the bronze statues of generals that came along later.
  • 3 PM – Leon Reed: Patriotic Envelopes Illustrate the Civil War
    • Patriotic envelopes were the Internet meme of the day; colorful inexpensive ways to show your support for the cause, celebrate the latest triumphs, mourn the fallen martyrs, and generally trash talk the other side. Leon discusses some of the topics addressed by these envelopes, including the election of 1860, fallen martyrs such as Elmer Ellsworth, Fort Sumter, heroes of the moment, Benjamin Butler and contraband, and many others. Leon also displays in public for the first time a contemporary collection of correspondences, photos, and patriotic covers that were assembled in 1860-1862 by an official of the New York Militia Association. The collection has been passed down through the family and has never been seen in public.

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