Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is pleased to present Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection, running from September 6 to November 15, 2015. Drawn from the Becker Archive's collection of over 650 works, these first-hand sketches of the era's leading artist-reporters were originally commissioned for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. The subjects include depictions of Civil War battles and daily camp life.


Frederic B. Schell, Chattanooga Valley Sketched From Lookout Mountain After Sherman's Victory, November 25, 1863.

Joseph Becker (1841-1910) was hired by the Illustrated Press as a sketch artist in 1863. Though Becker lacked formal training, he excelled at his position and in 1875 was promoted to Manager of the paper's art department. The Collection includes works from Becker and his colleagues, including Edwin Forbes (1839-1895), Arthur Lumley (1837-1912), and Francis H. Schell (1834-1909).

There has been no major exhibition or scholarly survey featuring Civil War drawings since the 1961 centennial, and at that time the Becker Collection had not yet come to light. Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is the first opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to see selections from this important and unknown collection and appreciate these national treasures as artworks.

The "first-hand" drawings selected for this exhibition, most of which have never been published, document in lively and specific ways key developments in the history of America as it struggled to establish its national identity.

                                           CW_57.jpg Artist Unknown, Sketches at the General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, April 1865. Graphite on toned paper.

Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is curated by Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher and the traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. Drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection which was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.







               The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Endowment Fund

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