Date(s) - Dec 14
The West is seldom considered in the context of the Civil War, yet Westward expansion shaped the issues that ignited that tumultuous conflict. Westerners fought in the war for both the Union and the Confederacy, felt its impact at home, and struggled with its civil rights legacy in the Reconstruction era. On view at the Autry National Center of the American West from April 25, 2015, through January 3, 2016, Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West investigates how Westward expansion repeatedly tested the meaning of freedom and the rights of individuals.The exhibition combines personal stories of Americans with audio-visual presentations and extraordinary historical artifacts. Visitors will come to know individuals such as Sacagawea, John Sutter, Jesse and Frank James, Andrés Pico, Biddy Mason, Big Tree, and others. Artifact highlights include many one-of-a-kind pieces: Jefferson Davis’s pistol, Ulysses S. Grant’s revolver, John Fremont’s 1842 expedition flag, George Armstrong Custer’s Bible, and Kicking Bear’s muslin painting of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Works by artists such as Frederick Remington and John Gast are represented, as well as original period photography by the likes of Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, and William Henry Jackson. Sunday, April 25 – Sunday, January 3.