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An Artist’s Story: Civil War Drawings by Edwin Forbes

Edwin Forbes writing homeLike thousands of young men, twenty-three-year-old John Edwin Forbes went to war in 1862—but he did not shoulder a rifle or carry a saber. The classically trained Forbes joined a group of artists and reporters, known collectively as the Bohemian Brigade, sent south by northern newspapers to feed a home front population hungry for information about the war and the men engaged in it.  

For two and a half years Forbes documented the Union and Confederate armies—in camp, on the march, and in battle. Forbes and his colleagues did much to shape public perceptions—then and now—of the Civil War.

An Artist’s Story: Civil War Drawings by Edwin Forbes features forty-five original pen-and-ink drawings based on his wartime sketches and used to illustrate his memoir, Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Story of the Great War (1890). In the exhibition, Forbes’s own descriptions accompany each illustration. 

An Artist’s Story: Civil War Drawings by Edwin Forbes is a traveling exhibition organized by the VHS to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.

The images featured in this traveling exhibition are part of a collection of 156 drawings donated to the Virginia Historical Society in 2008 by the William R. Berkley family. The collection was first publically displayed at the VHS in 2012. 

Related information:

On display at the following locations:

South Carolina Relic Room & Military Museum, Columbia, SC       
From March 15-August 15, 2014

The Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
From
 November 15, 2014-February 15, 2015

Fairfax Museum, Fairfax, VA
From 
March 15, 2015-October 30, 2015

Rebecca Rose

Rebecca Rose, Registrar

Do you have a question about traveling exhibitions?  Are you interested in booking our exhibition for your venue?  Contact me at rrose@vahistorical.org or 804.342.9679.

Forbes video
In 1862, twenty-three-year-old Edwin Forbes joined a corps of artists sent to Virginia to capture scenes of the war that would illustrate the pages of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Forbes and his colleagues did much to shape public perceptions—then and now—of the American Civil War. "An Artist's Story: Civil War Drawings by Edwin Forbes" features more than 120 original pen-and-ink drawings that Forbes produced from wartime sketches to illustrate his book, "Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Story of the Great War."
A grand review Enter Fullscreen More information
A grand review
A military execution Enter Fullscreen More information
A military execution
(VHS accession number: 2008.139.24)
A wintry march Enter Fullscreen More information
A wintry march
(VHS accession number: 2008.139.114)
Edwin Forbes Enter Fullscreen More information
Edwin Forbes writing home
(VHS accession number: 2008.139.35)
Forbes video
A grand review
A grand review
A military execution
A military execution
A wintry march
A wintry march
Edwin Forbes
Edwin Forbes writing home