History: Women in the Civil War
From Slave Mothers & Southern Belles to Radical Reformers & Lost Cause Ladies
Selections from Virginia:
A Visit from Old Mistress
Oil on canvas
Today, contemporary artists like Carrie Mae Weems have begun to explore some of the many Mardi Gras traditions rooted in the post-Civil War fallout. In several elements of her installation, The Louisiana Project, Weems explores the legacy of antebellum race and gender dynamics, including those specifically related to Mardi Gras. In a powerful photograph entitled Missing Link: Despair, Weems tackles the racism tied to early costume designs such as Gorilla from the 1873 “Missing Links” Comus parade. In the photograph, Weems, dressed in a suit wearing the gorilla mask, hides both her racial and sexual identity, highlighting the traditions of masking that take place during Mardi Gras. Though her costume alludes to the racist 1873 gorilla costume, Weems reverses both race and gender roles, by masking her identity as an African American woman and asserting the idea that she could be anyone under her costume.
Timeline: The Civil War and American Art
Selections from Virginia:
Lincoln Speaks to Freedmen on the Steps of the Capital at Richmond
Oil on canvas
39.62 x 29.5 in.
Resurrection of Henry Box Brown
Unknown Artist (after a lithograph by Peter Kramer, 1851)
A Ride for Liberty -- The Fugitive Slaves
Oil on paper board
55.8 x 66.4 cm
Slave Hunt: Dismal Swamp, Virginia
Oil on canvas
85.73 cm x 111.76 cm
The Great Dismal Swamp and the Underground Railroad
Lee Family Homes of Virginia
Download Eleanor Lee Templeman's Book:
"Virgina Homes of the Lees"
View Full Text of "Lee of Virginia, 1642-1892: Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of the Descendants of Colonel Richard Lee" - by Edmund Jennings Lee
Lee Descendant List
Lee Family Archive
Record of Land Grants to Colonel Richard Lee
Howard Foundation Fellowship:
2018 Art History and Architecture
Deadline: June 1, 2017
(2018-2019 Sequence: History of Art and Architecture)
Greg Crawford’s Library of Virginia Research Links:
LVA Online Resources
Lost Records Localities
Search Tips for the Chancery Records Index
Eliot Dudik, visiting assistant professor of photography, has been working over the past two years to outfit Andrews 215 as a full photography classroom – ordering equipment, building an internal darkroom, moving plumbing and installing the sinks and enlargers necessary for developing prints.
The expansion has allowed him to teach two 10-student sections of Introduction to Photography this semester in Dudik’s own, unique way. Most intro classes see students using either 35mm or digital cameras, but in Dudik’s class, students shoot with large-format cameras, the ones with bellows and the dark cloths the photographers have to keep over their heads. Think the 1800s.
“No program I’ve heard of starts students off with a large-format camera, which is just a totally different way of working,” Dudik said. “Students make fewer images, but each image is much more considered. They have a higher success rate in making images that actually communicate something, are technically well-exposed, well-developed and well-printed. It’s pretty breathtaking, what they’ve been making with these cameras and with this process so far.”
Dudik, who uses the large cameras in his own professional work, said they also help students grok the essence of photography as capturing light.
“They go back to before the invention of photography,” he said. “It hasn’t changed much since then. It’s as simple as it gets; it’s just a box with a lens and ground glass on the back end, which you replace with a sheet of film. You can put your hand inside the camera and see there’s nothing in there. The opposite of that would be our modern digital cameras, which are full of circuit boards and wires and all sort of things. But through its flexibility, the large-format camera can simultaneously be one of the most complicated, technically, to use.”
Through the Lens of Time: Images of African Americans from the Cook Collection is a digital collection of over 250 images of African Americans dating from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, selected from the George and Huestis Cook Photograph Collection at the Valentine Richmond History Center. The digitally scanned images on this site are of prints from glass plate negatives or film negatives taken by George S. Cook (1819-1902) and Huestes P. Cook (1868-1951), primarily in the Richmond and Central Virginia area. The Cook Collection consists of over 10,000 negatives taken from the 1860s to the 1930s in Virginia and the Carolinas.
The lens of a camera can both reflect and refract reality, and it is important to understand that a photograph, like any work of art, can tell us as much about the photographer as the photographed. These photographs of African Americans provide an interesting combination of examples of African American life and the white photographers' perceptions of that life, often at least tinged by stereotypes. While some photographs more obviously represent one or the other, it is an interesting exercise to attempt to determine which photographs were taken in a completely spontaneous manner and which ones were posed or staged by the Cooks.
These photographs of African American life in turn-of-the-century Central Virginia are valuable both as conveyers of unique historical information and as examples of the nascent art of photography. Their preservation by the Valentine Richmond History Center and their digitization by VCU allows everyone from historical researchers to school children to access and learn from this fine and rare resource.
Through the Lens of Time is a joint project between VCU Libraries and the Valentine Richmond History Center.
Images from the Collection at VCU
Reserach Links compiled by Julie W Fisher
The Burial of Latane Engraving by William Dickinson Washington - Library of Congress
The Burial of Latane - Encyclopedia of Virginia
How Did the Slaves Support the Confederacy? - Virginia Historical Society
Stuart’s Ride and the Death of Latane by Hon. William Campbell, Company F, 9th VA Cavalry
Jeb Stuart’s Wild Ride - The New York Times
Essex History, 1861-1865: The Burial of Latane - Essex County Musuem
Essex County Veterans - Virginia Company F, 9th Cavalry
The Propaganda of Martyrdom: The Latanes and Confederate Nationalism - The Essex County Museum
Civil War and Reconstruction in Exxes County - The Essex County Museum
The History of the Summer Hill Site - Virginia Digs by Tom Hobbs
A Proper Burial - The Richmond Times Dispatch
Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by a Lady of Virginia , Judith White Brockenbrough Mcguire of Westwood
Virginia At War, 1864 - Edited by William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr.
Romantic Spirits: 19th Century Genre Paintings from the Johnson Collection (Educator's Guide)
At VMFA - Two paintings, Two very different stories (by Tyler Green, 2010)
Lest We forget by Miles George Turpin and the Clopton Family Genealogical Society
The Ideal and the Real: Southern Plantation Women of the Civil War
J.R. Thompson - Southern Literary Magazine
Women and the Painting: The Burial of Latane
Research links compiled by Michael D. Gorman, Viginia Historical Socity: www.mdgorman.com
Civil War Center : the best collection of Civil War links on the web.
Civil War Hospitals in Richmond : online reprint of this useful research tool.
Guide to Historic Virginia : looking to visit historic sites? Click here.
Historic Richmond Foundation : help preserve Richmond's historic sites.
Library of Congress Civil War Photos : Hi-res scans of the Library of Congress' Civil War negatives.
The Library of Virginia : invaluable Virginia resources.
Museum of the Confederacy : Amazing collections, and very nice website.
National Archives : search in the ARC database for Civil War items; great photos.
Rarely Seen Richmond : see post-war Richmond through an impressive collection of old postcards. Courtesy of the Virginia Commonwealth University Library.
Richmond National Battlefield Park : learn about the battles around Richmond.
US Army Military History Institute : search their photo collection, or browse the manuscripts.
Virginia Historical Society : good manuscript descriptions and digitized photographs.
Virginia Military Institute Archives : great archival site; check out the various manuscripts.
Hollywood Cemetery: official site of the famous cemetery
Legacy of the Civil War Tour: view this map for key locations