Monthly Archives: June 2013

History Through Art

By Shuan Butcher, JTHG Director of Communications

Art is a powerful tool and has always been an important vehicle to capture history or reflect on history.  As we are in the midst of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, art is one means for commemorating this country’s most defining moment.  On such exhibit, entitled The Civil War and American Art, is currently on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City through September 2, 2013.  This exhibit, which first debuted at the Smithsonian Institution, examines how America’s artists represented the impact of the Civil War and its aftermath.  Whether it is Winslow Homer’s aesthetic power in conveying the intense emotions of the period in his paintings or Alexander Gardner’s battlefield photography that documents the gruesomeness of carnage and destruction, each artist’s work portrays the triumph and tragedy of the American experience during the 1860’s.

But you do not have to travel to New York City to see an art exhibit chronicling the American Civil War.  Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, there are three art exhibits currently on display that explore this subject matter.  Here is a brief description of each:

The Gettysburg Collection: Rebecca Pearl Art ShowRebecca Pearl's Robert E. Lee
National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Through July 12, 2013

Based on the equestrian monuments located through the battlefields of Gettysburg National Military Park, nine original watercolor paintings will be the anchor pieces of the Rebecca Pearl Art Show. Additionally, eight landscape views of the battlefield will be on display.  This special exhibit is open to the public and Rebecca Pearl’s artwork will be available for purchase.  For more information, visit



John Rogers Mail Call“Valley of the Shadow”
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Through July 28, 2013

With 23,110 casualties, the Battle of Antietam remains a day of great loss for America and stimulated a chain of events leading to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Battle of Gettysburg. This extensive exhibition brings together works of art, such as Eastman Johnson’s (American, 1824-1906) “Study for ‘The Wounded Drummer Boy'” on loan from the Brooklyn Museum and objects of material culture, such as weaponry, musical instruments and clothing, to tell the stories of the war, from the soldiers who fought in its battles to the women and children who remained at home. Loans from public and private collections and the museum’s collection will come together in our largest gallery, the Groh Gallery, to create a “museum within a museum” commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863.  For more information, visit



“Images of the Civil War”Antietam flag bearer by Susan Ruddick Bloom
Carroll Arts Center
Through August 6, 2013

The Civil War conjures sentiments on both sides, the issue of slavery, artillery, battles, the role of women and children, uniforms, portraits and more.  The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is being honored in Carroll County with an exhibit by local artists entitled “Images of the Civil War.”  For more information, visit

In addition to the art exhibits, there are other exhibitions worth checking out.  A new exhibit that just opened on June 16th, entitled Treasures of the Civil War: Legendary Leaders Who Shaped a War and a Nation, offers a rare glimpse into the personal and professional lives of 13 individuals who shaped a nation: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses Grant, George G. Meade, John Reynolds, George Pickett, Alexander Webb, William Tecumseh Sherman, George Custer, John Mosby, Frederick Douglass and Clara Barton.  This exhibit offers 94 historic items from seven different outstanding Civil War collections throughout the United States – all being exhibited together for the first time at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Visitors can look at Lincoln’s face mask; Meade’s frock coat and slouch hat he wore at Gettysburg; Pickett’s spur; Grant’s sword for the Vicksburg victory; Reynolds’ kepi worn at Gettysburg; a lock of Lee’s hair and his horse Traveller’s mane; and an original copy of Douglass’ autobiography “The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass,” to name a few.  For more information, visit

Passport to Your National Parks® Program Expands in Local Region

passport_stamp_Blog_Master_Wordpress_inline_imageJourney Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Launches Program at Several Travel Destinations

 National Trails Day took place on June 1 and Get Outdoors Day is scheduled for June 8th.  Both events provide a great excuse to explore the various natural, historic, and cultural assets here.  In addition to the 13 national parks located within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, travelers can now participate in the Passport to Your National Parks® Program at key historic sites and visitor centers within the region.

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At the organization’s annual conference in Gettysburg, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership launched an expansion of the Passport To Your National Parks® program to include dozens of additional sites within the National Heritage Area.  Since its inception in 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has introduced millions of visitors to the National Park System and continues to promote visitation, education, and appreciation of America’s national treasures.  This popular program, administered through Eastern National, includes a passport book and online resources that lists all national parks in the United States.The Passport To Your National Parks® program is one of the most popular ways to preserve memories of visits to America’s national parks.  Visitors can get their complimentary Passport cancellations at each site they visit. The rubber- stamp ink markings record the name of the location and date of the visit.The program is already in existence at the 13 national parks located within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, including Antietam National Battlefield, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Manassas National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Shenandoah National Park.

However, the official visitor centers within the fifteen counties located within the region will now be able to stamp the passports, as well as key historic sites such as the David Wills House, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Newcomer House, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, Montpelier, Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and others.  All of these locations will be included on a new map/brochure of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, which will include a panel on which to collect cancellation stamps.  For a full list of participating locations, visit www.hallowedground/passport.  The National Park Foundation has stated that most Americans are less than 100 miles from a national park experience.  Within this swath of land, we are fortunate to have 13 national parks within 180 miles… are you taking full advantage?