Attention: History Buffs

Shadows of History: Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell

On view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from February 4, 2012 to May 20, 2012

Ashby Anderson, a partner at Bellus Fine Art and teacher recently led ten high school students on a tour of  the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to see this special exhibition of Civil War photography.  It is a fantastic exhibit in an intimate setting that gives a vivid picture of the daily lives of soldiers sacrificing for their country.  Here is Ashby’s account.

Several of the boys are in my American Studies class, and having recently studied the history and read the short story, about the Civil War, “An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge,” these photographs give visual context to the themes we had discussed in the story. I love taking students to museums, because helping them to experience American culture away from the classroom always reinforces for them the themes we study in our literature and art. For example, while walking from photo to photo, one of my students commented that the number of African American soldiers reminded him of our study of the Massachusetts Volunteer 54th, the all black regiment of soldiers memorialized by the sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens in his “Gould Memorial.” Watching the boys make these intellectual connections makes teaching such a rewarding career, and Shadows of History is the perfect venue to bring this alive for either any American history teacher, or for any parent interested in showing his/her children the power of photography to capture this seminal event in our country’s history. The show is on view through May 20, 2012 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art: 500 17th St., NW Washington D.C.

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