For decades, Civil War monuments – especially Confederate monuments – have been lightning rods for controversy, primarily when public funds are needed to repair or maintain them. Recent events – from the June 2015 Charleston murders to the 2016 election – have unleashed an unprecedented wave of anger against Confederate symbols, which has prompted the removal of monuments from public spaces. What are the historical, social, and cultural contexts in which Civil War monuments were erected? How have changes in those contexts affected the ways in which our increasingly diverse public regards Civil War monuments? Join us as we seek to provide the background and perspective needed to understand the controversies surrounding Civil War monuments.
American artist Winslow Homer created paintings and illustrations that are widely considered among the most powerful and iconic pictures of the Civil War. Though he depicted primarily Union subjects, his representations of Confederates reveal much about Homer’s complex, sometimes conflicted vision of the war and its effects on American society. Led by Karen Sherry, American Civil War Museum.
During World War I, African Americans hoped their patriotism and service would bring respect and recognition of their rights. White Southerners hoped their patriotism and service would prove that the scars of Civil War had finally healed. Were those desires compatible? Led by John Coski, American Civil War Museum.