July 16 – December 11, 2011
North Fairchild Gallery
This installation of paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures from the Mead’s collection marks the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War. The war officially began on April 12, 1861, with the firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and took the lives of more than 620,000 people by its conclusion on April 9, 1865.
The artworks featured in Disunion! are organized generally in chronological order, providing insight into the sequence of events that precipitated and gave shape to the conflict as it unfolded. Enhancing the installation is a special loan from the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass.: Liberty, the Fair Maid of Kansas in the Hands of the “Border Ruffians” (1856). This popular lithograph by John L.Magee sheds new light on Massacre of the Innocents (ca. 1858), an oil painting by William Rimmer that the Mead highlights in an expanded presentation.