Special Exhibits

Remember Me: Civil War Portraits

Remember Me: Civil War Portraits

February 4 - June 17, 2012

Remember Me: Civil War Portraits will be exhibited from Feb. 4 to June 17, 2012.  It was developed by the Museum to mark the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Photographs taken by hundreds of photographers between 1861 and 1865 have provided a graphic means to remember those who fought for the Union. The exhibit explores the use of tintypes and cartes de visite, the most popular photographic formats during the Civil War. These cheaper and more durable images made it possible for many soldiers and their loved ones to have their photographs taken, to mail them to each other throughout the war, and to carry them as keepsakes in the event that a beloved son, brother, or husband never returned from battle. 

With the Museum’s permanent collection, Western Michigan University Archives, the Michigan Historical Center, and other regional institutions and private individuals, Museum staff has created an exhibit of more than 30 photographs of southwest Michigan men who fought for the Union.

The exhibit also includes a video interview with photographer Bob Shimmin, who explains the tintype process that he still uses this antiquated but relevant method of capturing images.