Smithsonian gathers best art of Civil War era

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Associated Press

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Paintings and photographs that depict the raw reality of the Civil War as it was happening marked a major change in American art that tossed out romantic notions of war.

Some of the finest artists of the day, including Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson, Frederic Church and Sanford Gifford, painted landscapes and scenes of everyday life to show how the war transformed the nation.

Their best works, along with some of the first photographs of soldiers killed on the battlefield, have been gathered by the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a major exhibition on how artists represented the war and how the war changed art.

It will be on view in Washington through April and then moves to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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