Monday, May 14, 2012

Thrilling, harrowing life of a combat artist

The Picket spoke last year with curator and writer Harry Katz about Alfred Waud and other superb Civil War sketch artists.

This month, Katz writes for National Geographic about the "specials" and their contributions to informing Americans about battles and leaders.

"The world came to understand the Civil War through the eyes of battlefield artists," Katz writes. "Living alongside the troops, combat illustrators risked death, injury, and disease to convey the blow-by-blow of battle with pencil and pen, charcoal, and crayon. Their work, sketched in the direst of circumstances, shows terrible violence, but also moments of surprising grace."

Katz' new work, "Civil War Sketch Book," is being released today.

Article about artists, gallery

Illustration, Battle of Shiloh, Becker Collection, is in May issue of National Geographic. "Shell burst in the spot sketched [center left] killed horses & wounded all the postition [sic] and tore Sergeant Tosey previously wounded in pieces," wrote Henri Lovie. He called this scene the Union's "Desperate Retreat."

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