By Elizabeth Nailling
Since Oct. 6, the Mandeville Gallery in the Nott Memorial has hosted “Illustrating the War,” an exhibit showcasing selected engravings from Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Illustrated Civil War. Both of these publications were popular magazines that featured spreads of images from the time period.
Anyone interested in learning about the Civil War or looking for a way to commemorate its 150th anniversary this year would enjoy the 70 wood engravings covering the walls of the second and third floors of the Nott Memorial.
Furthermore, the exhibit itself offers visitors a very visual and detailed recording of the war’s events that occurred both on and off the battlefield.
The interim Director of the Mandeville Gallery Marie Costello organized the exhibition with Professor of History Andrea Foroughi and Joseph Privitera ‘12.
Costello explained how the process began with a raw sketch and notes from the artist at the actual scene. The artist would then polish off the sketch, acquiring different vantage points by interviewing the soldiers that had been participatants in the event.
Some of the most notable engravings include “War Correspondents Killing Time at the ‘Virginia’-Jefferson City, MO” and “Dress Parade and Review of the First South Carolina (Colored) Volunteers,” drawn by Alexander Simplot, who graduated from Union in 1857.
While these images are not in color, their detail is sensational, resembling the quality of a black and white photo. However, they capture much more than a photo ever could, as they represent the perspectives of a variety of people involved in the scene.
The exhibit will continue to be open to the public every day until Nov. 20, between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.