VIDEO | Voices on the Civil War

Posted on October 12, 2012 by Kate Lain | Comments (2)

The Huntington is abuzz with the Civil War this fall. Manuscript exhibition “A Just Cause: Voices of the American Civil War,” curated by Olga Tsapina, opened just a few weeks ago in the West Hall of the Library and gives its visitors an opportunity to try to make sense of that war through letters, diaries, and rare printed material from the time. Opening tomorrow in the Boone Gallery is the much-anticipated Civil War photography exhibition, “A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning, and Memory in the American Civil War,” curated by Jennifer A. Watts. Featuring an impressive array of period photographs and artifacts, a contemporary sound installation, interactive kiosks, and an ambitious online component, the show offers visitors an experience both intensely personal and quietly profound. I recently sat down with Tsapina and Watts for a casual interview about their exhibitions and the parallels between them. Here are selections from that conversation. The Most Incredible Thing

Three Narratives

Why They Fought

A Scene of Carnage

Olga Tsapina is the Norris Foundation Curator of American Historical Manuscripts, and Jennifer A. Watts is the curator of photographs at The Huntington. Kate Lain is the new media developer in the office of communications at The Huntington.


Very much enjoyed the videos, particularly Jenny Watts' description of the photographic exhibit. Looking forward to seeing both in person later this month.

Glad you enjoyed the videos, and happy to hear you'll be able to stop in and see the actual shows. Have you checked out the companion website for the photography exhibition? Among other things, it's got some really fantastic audio commentary from noted Civil War scholars. Just look for the audio icon on select images in the galleries.

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