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Special Exhibition – “War on Our Doorsteps”
August 9, 2019 - August 11, 2019| Included with Admission
When Alexander Gardner’s stunning photographs of the Antietam battlefield were publicly displayed in 1862, they changed how Americans saw war forever. For a limited time, you can relive that sobering exhibition at the Pry House.
“Bringing the War to Our Doorsteps” is a temporary installation restaging the exhibition of Alexander Gardner’s photographs taken at Antietam in September 1862 a few miles from where the images were taken. It is a rare chance for visitors to experience what viewers did more than 155 years ago as the Civil War raged.
Display prints have been made to the same dimensions and style of the originals from high-definition digital files made available by the Library of Congress. To enhance the visitor’s experience, there will be a 3-D theatre to view the photos, which were shot with stereoscopic cameras, in the way they were originally intended. Its purpose is to explore the evolving view of war-time photography from the Civil War to today and how modern media has contributed to American attitudes about armed conflict.
“It is not [for viewers] to bear witness to the fidelity of views which the truthful sunbeam has delineated in all their dread reality,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. after viewing the original exhibition in New York City in 1862. “The sight of these pictures is a commentary on civilization such as the savage might well triumph to show its missionaries.”
Visiting the exhibition is included with admission to the Pry House Field Hospital Museum and is free for Museum members. The exhibition will be on display until December 1, 2019 and will be available during normal operating hours (11:00am – 5:00pm, Fri-Sun) and by appointment. Contact Reservations Coordinator Alyssa Watson for more information about appointments and group visits: firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-695-1864.