The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is pleased to present Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection, running from September 6 to November 15, 2015. Drawn from the Becker Archive’s collection of over 650 works, these first-hand sketches of the era’s leading artist-reporters were originally commissioned for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. The subjects include depictions of Civil War battles and daily camp life.
Joseph Becker (1841-1910) was hired by the Illustrated Press as a sketch artist in 1863. Though Becker lacked formal training, he excelled at his position an din 1875 was promoted to Manager of the paper’s art department. The Collection includes works from Becker and his colleagues, including Edwin Forbes (1839-1895), Arthur Lumley (1837-1912), and Francis H. Schell (1834-1909).
There has been no major exhibition or scholarly survey featuring Civil War drawings since 1961 centennial, and at the time the Becker Collection had not yet come to light. Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is the first opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to see selections from this important and unknown collection and appreciate these national treasures as artwork.
The “first-hand” drawings selected for this exhibition, most of which have never been published, document in lively and specific ways key developments in history of America as it struggled to establish its national identity.
Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is curated by Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher and the traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California. Drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection which was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.
This exhibition was generously sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Regions, Sanderson Farms, and The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Endowment Fund.