Photography was in its infancy when the Civil War broke out in 1861, and soldiers were among the first to truly take advantage of the new technology.
Thousands of soldiers of all ranks and walks of life, posed for the camera before setting off for battle. “Portraits In Gray: A Civil War Photography Exhibition featuring the Collection of David Wynn Vaughan” showcases those soldiers in a way mere words never could.
Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the Environmental and Heritage Center will host the unique exhibit until Jan. 4. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. the last Sunday of the month at 2020 Clean Water Drive in Buford.
“The Civil War was a watershed moment in American history,” EHC Director of Programming Jason West said. “This exhibit helps guests view the conflict through the lives of ordinary people and through the lens of an emerging technology that continues to impact the way we see conflict today.”
The exhibit includes more than 70 high-quality enlarged reproductions from the David Wynn Vaughan collection, the largest collection of Confederate images in the United States. The exhibit explores themes such as the daily life of a soldier, weapons of the Civil War, photographic technology of the period and the impact of war on children.
Nearly all of the photographs featured in the exhibit are identified, giving names and stories to otherwise anonymous faces. In conjunction with the exhibit, the EHC plans to highlight some of its unique Civil War artifacts, including a letter connecting two of the county’s historic properties.
“The EHC is fortunate to have a piece of correspondence from the period addressed to A.W. McDaniel, an early resident of Gwinnett and one of the owners of McDaniel Farm, that originated in Richmond, Va., and made its way to the Yellow River Post Office to eventually be picked up by members of the family,” West said.
The exhibit is included in EHC admission. Admission for non-Gwinnett County residents is $13 for adults ages 13 and older, $10 for children ages 3-12 and seniors ages 55 and older and military and free for GEHC members and children younger than 2.
For more information, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org.