A good reason to play hooky me thinks.
This major loan exhibition will explore how American artists responded to the Civil War and its aftermath. The exhibition follows the trajectory of the conflict: from the palpable unease on the eve of war to the heady optimism that it would be over with a single battle, to the growing realization that this conflict would not end quickly, to grappling with the issues surrounding emancipation, the need for reconciliation as the war ended, and the uncertainty about how to put the country back together in its wake. It will feature some of the finest works made by leading figure painters such as Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson, landscape painters such as Sanford R. Gifford and Frederic E. Church, and photographers such as Mathew Brady and George Barnard. The exhibition at the Metropolitan coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863) and the New York City Draft Riots (July 13–16, 1863), violent disturbances that made New Yorkers more painfully aware than ever before of the war and its implications.
Sanford Robinson Gifford (American, 1823–1880). The Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Frederick, Maryland, 1863 (detail), 1864. Oil on canvas; 18 x 30 in. New York State Military Museum, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Saratoga Springs, NY (L[masked])