The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia will present a lecture by Civil War expert Gary W. Gallagher on Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153. His lecture, “A Contested Historical Landscape: The Civil War Generation Interprets the Conflict,” will accompany the museum’s exhibition, “The Valley of the Shadow: American Landscapes in the Time of the Civil War,” on view through Dec. 16.
The exhibition addresses a central problem faced by artists who depicted the American landscape during this period: how to represent a nation and its land that was hotly contested by different groups, increasingly divided by political tensions, and, by the 1860s, the site of unprecedented violence and trauma. The exhibition considers the ways in which artists of the period grappled with the vexing problem of representing a nation at war.
Images by Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, Sanford Robinson Gifford, David Johnson, John Frederick Kensett, Aaron Draper Shattuck and others contextualize the questions and challenges faced by American landscapists. Their works are supplemented with images that engage the war in a more direct manner – photographs by Mathew Brady and a lithograph by Currier & Ives, on loan from U.Va.’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
Gallagher received his B.A. from Adams State College of Colorado and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught for 12 years at Pennsylvania State University before joining U.Va.’s faculty in 1998.
Active in the field of historic preservation, he was president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites from 1987 to 1994. Gallagher has also served as a member of the board of the Civil War Trust and has testifed about preservation before Congressional committees on several occasions. His recent publications include “The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History” (2000), “Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War” (2008) and “The Union War” (2011).
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible by the generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For information, call 434-243-2050 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum is open free to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., and is located at 155 Rugby Road, one block from the Rotunda.