Home Contact | Advertising Subscribe
Search Listings
Alberta British Columbia Oregon Washington
Exhibition Previews
Gallery Websites
Conservation Corner

SEARCH EDITORIAL
To find gallery listings use search at page top right.

  Back

Unknown Artist, Sketches at the General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia (April 1865)

Unknown Artist, Sketches at the General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia (April 1865), graphite on toned paper [Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland OR, Feb 5-Apr 20] © Becker Collection, Boston College

First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection, Boston College

Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College
Portland OR – Feb 5-Apr 20, 2013

The American artist Joseph Becker (1841-1910) and his colleagues worked as artist-reporters during the Civil War. The dramatic scenes captured by Becker and his colleagues in this nationally traveling exhibit unearth a rare historical vantage point on significant events that were shaping a young country in search of national identity. First Hand contains more than 140 drawings from the Becker Collection, most of which never made it to the publication stage and were only recently uncovered by Becker’s heirs. The Becker Collection at Boston College contains over 600 previously undocumented and unexhibited drawings.

Initially these works were created for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper where Becker began working as an errand boy before his natural artistic talent was encouraged, and he was dispatched to accompany the Union Army and send back drawings of his observations.

Known as “Special Artists,” these 19th-century war correspondents completed their drawings in the field and were responsible for capturing battles, movements of troops, military architecture and other daily activities at a time when photography was too young a technology to serve this purpose. Their informational renderings were soon after sent back for publication where they were transformed into wood engravings, then cast as metal plates that could be printed.

The images in First Hand extend beyond the Civil War era when Special Artists were assigned westward to document the expansion of the nation. Becker journeyed across the Great Plains recording the landscape and also traveled across the Rockies on the first Pullman train. Some other highlights of this insightful collection include subjects of railroad expansion, Chicago in the wake of the Great Fire and Chinese immigrant culture in San Francisco.

www.reed.edu/gallery

Allyn Cantor


Joseph Becker, Evening Prayer Meeting at City Point during the Siege of Petersburg (September 2, 1864)

Joseph Becker, Evening Prayer Meeting at City Point during the Siege of Petersburg (September 2, 1864), graphite on wove paper [Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland OR, Feb 5-Apr 20] © Becker Collection, Boston College


Henri Lovie, Foraging, The Slaughter of the Innocents

Henri Lovie, Foraging, The Slaughter of the Innocents (no date), graphite on wove paper [Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland OR, Feb 5-Apr 20] © Becker Collection, Boston College



 Thu, Apr 4, 2013