Civil War Photo Talks

Saturday, March 9, 6-9 p.m.
Club Room
Holiday Inn Rosslyn
1900 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, Va.
Event is free. No registration required.

Join us for five presentations focused on showcasing, interpreting and preserving images. Snacks provided.

Civil War-Era Photographs:
Highlights from the National Portrait Gallery
Ann Shumard, Senior Curator of Photographs

In 1976, the National Portrait Gallery formally launched its Department of Photographs. Since that time, each successive curator has worked diligently to build the museum’s collection of portrait photography—including works documenting the key figures of the Civil War era. This illustrated talk will feature highlights from this collecting effort, which very much remains a “work in progress.”

Picturing the Civil War:
Collecting at the Library of Congress
Micah Messenheimer, Associate Curator of Photography

The Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress holds one of the country’s foremost collections of Civil War photography. These treasures comprise not just the studio archives of Mathew Brady’s firm, but continued acquisitions like the Liljenquist collection of cased photographs and cartes-de-visite of everyday men and women, the Gladstone collection of portraiture documenting the social and military history of African-Americans, the Stanford collection of stereographs, major albums of the war, and work by contemporary photographers commenting on the conflict’s continued resonance in America. This talk will examine the varied ways in which these collections have been developed, preserved, and used throughout their history.

Civil War Photo Sleuthing:
Past, Present, and Future
Dr. Kurt Luther,

People have struggled to identify unknown soldiers and sailors in Civil War photos since even before the war ended. In this talk, I trace the 150-year history of photo sleuthing, showing how the passage of time has magnified some challenges, but also unlocked exciting new possibilities. I show how technologies like social media, face recognition, and digital archives allow us to solve photo mysteries that have eluded families and researchers for a century and a half.

The Civil War Photos of the National Archives
Bryan Cheeseboro, National Archives staff

Bryan shares stories about rare events in the hallowed halls of the repository of Civil War records: Finding original Civil War photographs in pension files.

Through a Collector’s Eye
Rick Brown, Senior Editor, Military Images

Rick reviews a selection of images from his collection with an eye to art appreciation.