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Civil War Drawings at VMFA and UR

Jan. 15 through April 3

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Unless you lived in the middle of a battleground hub such as Richmond during the Civil War, chances are you'd find it difficult to know what was going on as a standard civilian — without the help of newspaper reporting, that is. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the conflict, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the University of Richmond Museums present “Civil War Drawings.” The exhibit depicts the eyewitness illustrations of artistic journalists Joseph Becker and his colleagues documenting the everyday facets of military life, as well as nearly every major battle of the Civil War. On display are 90 of the Becker Collection's 650 original drawings — the largest private collection and second in scale only to that of the Library of Congress. Long before 24-hour news networks, these quickly drawn sketches were some of the best forms of reportage and transparency during a turbulent period. “Civil War Drawings from the Becker Collection” opens at VMFA and the University of Richmond Museums on Jan. 15, and remains on display through April 3.

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