The Civil War in Art

I’ve spent the past few hours browsing through an incredible website that focuses on Civil War art.  The website is called The Civil War in Art: Teaching and Learning Through Chicago Area Collections.  I am also very happy to have them on board as Civil War Memory’s newest sponsor.  This site is incredible.  Check out this gouache of the assault by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry at Battery Wagner by Suzanne Schweig Langsdorf, which was done in 1940.  I’ve never seen it before.  When you expand the image on the website there is a feature that opens up a window that allows you to focus on specific sections in great detail.  Each image includes a short description and a set of questions for classroom use.  In addition, the site includes a page of ideas for classroom projects, which will hopefully be expanded in the future.

I can’t wait to use some of these images in the classroom this year.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

4 comments… add one
  • Doug didier Aug 30, 2012 @ 5:22

    Excerpt from book published by  Chicago art institute about 10 years ago..
    Tries to explain why art couldn’t capture the scope of this war , idea of art as remembrance. Perhaps motive of sponsor interest in this website..

  • The Civil War in Art Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:46

    We are in the process of adding more classroom projects highlighting Chicago’s Civil War art! You can follow us on Facebook for updates:

  • Bryan Cheeseboro Aug 29, 2012 @ 0:44

    Thanks for sharing, Kevin. So interesting this is from 1940, during the World War II era, before Pearl Harbor. The way I’ve always read history, everytime America got into a war, the question always was “Will the Negro fight?” I’ve always read this as if there was considerable doubt if Blacks even had the capability to see combat and there was a perpetual amnesia of African-American service in previous wars. But I think I’ve now seen plenty of times (albeit with struggle and typically to only a Black audience) where the story was told of African-Americans in the military. Still, so many people just couldn’t see it. Actor John Wayne gave an interview to Playboy in 1971 where he said basically that Black people would get rights only after they had shown they could do something for this country to deserve them (see? I was reading Playboy for the articles!)

    • Kevin Levin Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:35

      You must have been reading the text-only version of Playboy. 🙂

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