Two New Exhibits Showcase Civil War Life - Nov. 1st & 7th
Two New Exhibits Showcase Civil War Life
Currency in Conflict - November 1, 2012 – February 3, 2013
Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War - November 7, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Two new exhibits on photography and currency at The Manassas Museum capture lesser known parts of life during the Civil War.
Currency in Conflict, an exhibit on loan from the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, not only displays vintage paper money and coins, but explains the often overlooked impact of money on the Civil War. At that time, the Numismatic Association says that the nation moved from a monetary system based on bullion coinage and privately-issued paper currency to a centrally controlled system based on paper money issued by National Banks and supplemented by Federal paper currency and coinage.
Both South and North were forced to issue huge amounts of paper money to pay for the war and the money was not backed by gold or silver. Union “greenbacks” (Legal Tender notes and Demand notes, printed with green ink on one side) were instead backed by bonds.
In the South, where the economy was almost exclusively based on agriculture and the banking system was underdeveloped, inflation ran rampant and made it all but impossible to continue the war effort.
Currency in Conflict explores different types of emergency money such as demand notes and “greenbacks,” encased postage stamps, fractional currency and Civil War tokens, plus the first U.S. coin to feature the motto “In God We Trust.” It runs from November 1, 2012 through February 3, 2013
Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War, an exhibit on loan from the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., includes a selection of rare historical photographs of Civil War sites and circumstances by celebrated photographers including George Barnard, Mathew Brady, and Alexander Gardner. The exhibit also explores how photography was used during this period to record the war, promote popular causes, and commemorate those who sacrificed their lives.
Included in the loaned items are over 120 reproduction photographs of naval vessels, portraits of presidents and unknown soldiers, infamous prisons, sweeping battlefields, fortress interiors, and post-Civil War memorial sites. The museum will supplement the displays with reproduction and period objects from its holdings and on loan from private collectors. The exhibit runs from November 7, 2012 through January 6, 2013.
Museum curator Mary Helen Dellinger says she is happy to host exhibits that give visitors a chance to see rare collections. “We are excited to be working with two new partners – the George Eastman House and the American Numismatic Association – for our fall exhibitions. These shows are part of our ongoing programming on the Civil War for the statewide Sesquicentennial celebration.”
The photography exhibit also enabled Dellinger to display some of the museum’s related collection. “As an added bonus, the staff has supplemented the photography exhibit with original objects from the nineteenth century to provide a look at the technology behind the images on the wall,” Dellinger says. “We look forward to sharing these two shows with our visitors during the upcoming holiday season.”
An opening reception for the new exhibits is scheduled for November 8 at 6 p.m. The exhibits are included with admission.