Vintage and Local: Photography and the American Civil War

September 18–November 18, 2015

The American Civil War was the first major conflict to be extensively documented by photography. Photographic prints quickly became embedded in the social fabric — as emblems of loved-ones, tokens of celebrity worship, intimate collectibles preserved in albums, educational images delivered via printed cards or viewed through stereoscopes.

This small exhibition presents photographic and other objects that embody the flourishing image culture of the 1860s, when photography joined print journalism to provide a more vivid, visual record of the American experience.

  • Richard K. Woodruff, 1862

    Richard K. Woodruff, 1862

  • Richard K. Woodruff, 1864

    Richard K. Woodruff, 1864

  • Company A, 7th Regiment

    Group Portrait, Minnesota Company A, 7th Regiment
    Photo collage
    Courtesy Northfield Historical Society

  • Officers’ Dinner party

    Taylor and Huntington, Hartford, CT
    Officers’ Dinner party, near Brandy Station, VA, April 7, 1864

    The War for the Union. Photographic History
    Cabinet card

  • Bombardment in Petersburg

    Taylor and Huntington, Hartford, CT
    Effect of Bombardment in Petersburg, VA (ruins at the Richmond and Petersburg RR Depot)

    The War for the Union. Photographic History
    Cabinet card

  • Fort Snelling

    Charles A. Zimmerman, St Paul
    Fort Snelling, Minnesota,
    Stereoscope card

  • Rebel Works No. 4

    George N. Barnard
    Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 4, 1864
    Albumen print
    Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • “The Murder of Colonel Ellsworth”

    “The Murder of Colonel Ellsworth”
    Harper’s Weekly, June 8, 1861