The National Portrait Gallery Presents A PRELUDE TO THE CIVIL WAR

The National Portrait Gallery Presents A PRELUDE TO THE CIVIL WAR

As photography galleries sprang up in cities large and small during the 1840s and 1850s, countless Americans posed for their daguerreotypes. These portraits serve as a visual prelude to the Civil War.

This exhibition features 16 daguerreotypes of men such as Jefferson Davis, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, and "Stonewall" Jackson, who took part in the antebellum debates about slavery or served as political or military leaders during the Civil War.

The curator for this exhibition is Ann Shumard, senior curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery.

"Prelude to the Civil War" is part of the Portrait Gallery's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865. Explore more of the Civil War in our rotating permanent collections and special exhibitions.

Mathew Brady's Photographs of Union Generals

Through May 31, 2015

Although Mathew Brady may be best known for his photographic documentation of the Civil War, his New York and Washington galleries also did a brisk business throughout the conflict by producing studio portraits of the ever-changing roster of Union army generals. Featuring modern prints made from Brady's original glass-plate negatives in the museum's Frederick Hill Meserve Collection, this installation includes portraits of many of the North's military leaders, from George McClellan and Ambrose Burnside to William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses Grant.

Mr. Lincoln's Washington: A Civil War Portfolio

Through Jan. 25, 2015

This exhibition uses large-format reproductions of original photographs, prints, drawings and maps to document how the Civil War affected patterns of life in the District of Columbia. A special focus centers on activities in and around the historic Patent Office Building-now home to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

One Life: Grant and Lee, 1864-1865

July 4 through May 31, 2015

This special installation of "One Life" considers two lives that were intertwined during the Civil War. The rivalry between generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee is one of the most memorable in American military history.

Grant and Lee both stand alone as genuine world historical individuals in their impact on America, but they are also arethe product of their relationship to each other.

Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration, Poems and Photographs

Inspired by Civil War readers, which were small pamphlets published to raise funds to help dress the injuries of wounded soldiers, the Portrait Gallery has published a modern-day reader titled Lines in Long Array. This bookincludes verse written by 12 of today's nationally renowned, award-winning poets in response to the Civil War.

Photo Credit: Jefferson Davis by an unidentified artist, c. 1858. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution