October 25, 2012
As America’s Civil War approaches it’s 150th Anniversary the California African American Museum (CAAM) will celebrate the participation of the approximately 180,000 African American Civil War soldiers with its latest exhibition African American Military Portraits From The American Civil War: Selected Images From The Library of Congress Collections currently on view at the CAAM through January 20, 2013.
“When most people think of the Civil War they just think of slaves and they don't realize a lot of these guys (African American soldiers) were volunteers from the north...I wanted to show the pictures of the guys who have been completely forgotten,” said Ed Garcia, exhibition curator.
The exhibits are reproduced images in large formats from the original antique photographs, and are selections from the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs and the Gladstone Collection of African American Photographs, both of which are housed at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
“African American Military Portraits From the American Civil War provides an unusual glimpse of African Americans in the American Civil War, rarely seen by the public,” says Tiffini Bowers, History Curator for CAAM. “With a personal legacy of five family members who fought in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, it gives me great pride to see this exhibit which fosters the continuous understanding of African Americans and their long history of military service,” Bowers continued.
This exhibition tells the stories of African American soldiers and sailors of the Union who fought against the Confederates for the freedom of those still enslaved. In addition, they are visual reminders of the pride, determination, and sense of destiny that filled these men with a profound resolve as they sought a rightful place in the fabric of this nation for themselves and an entire people. The portraits in this exhibition are supplemented with biographical research, original period documents, artifacts, and historically accurate reconstructions.
During the Civil War, Black soldiers were paid $10 a month for their service, while Whites received $13 a month. Some of African American soldiers’ duties were non-combative which included cooking and caring for White officer’s horses. Nonetheless there were others who served in the infantry and artillery.
Admission to CAAM is always free. CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, 90037. For more information on CAAM visit www.caamuseum.org and get the latest updates on CAAM social media pages on Twitter @CAAMinLA and www.Facebook. com/CAAMinLA.
OTHER EXHIBITIONS IN THE CAAM GALLERIES:
Go Tell it on the Mountain opening October 4, 2012 – April 7, 2013
Coloring America: Selections from the California African American Museum’s Permanent History Collection opening October 25, 2012 – January 27, 2013
Shared Thread in CAAM’s Courtyard through December 30, 2012
Legacy of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business through March 3, 2013