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Department 1

Civil War Institute


Wartime artwork allows us to experience certain aspects of battle and its aftermath and yet to also be distanced from it: When viewing the artwork, we get a small visual window into the carnage and devastation of war, but we are spared the affronts to our other senses. This concept was present in Dr. James Clifton’s lecture, Meditated War. Dr. Clifton, the director of the Sarah Cambell Blaffer Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, coordinated with Gettysburg College to loan the collection of European war prints for the exhibit, The Plains of Mars. The exhibition is currently on display at Schmucker Art Gallery and will remain so until December 7th. The pieces are comprised of wartime images from 1500 through 1825 and depict battles, individual soldiers, and civilians. Dr. Clifton’s lecture focused primarily on what one can learn from wartime art, specifically war prints, but also what they lack. [excerpt]


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.