The Huntington is abuzz with the Civil War this fall. Manuscript exhibition “A Just Cause: Voices of the American Civil War,” curated by Olga Tsapina, opened just a few weeks ago in the West Hall of the Library and gives its visitors an opportunity to try to make sense of that war through letters, diaries, and rare printed material from the time. Opening tomorrow in the Boone Gallery is the much-anticipated Civil War photography exhibition, “A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning, and Memory in the American Civil War,” curated by Jennifer A. Watts. Featuring an impressive array of period photographs and artifacts, a contemporary sound installation, interactive kiosks, and an ambitious online component, the show offers visitors an experience both intensely personal and quietly profound.
I recently sat down with Tsapina and Watts for a casual interview about their exhibitions and the parallels between them. Here are selections from that conversation.
The Most Incredible Thing
Why They Fought
A Scene of Carnage
Olga Tsapina is the Norris Foundation Curator of American Historical Manuscripts, and Jennifer A. Watts is the curator of photographs at The Huntington.
Kate Lain is the new media developer in the office of communications at The Huntington.