December 6, 2012 - Today we returned to the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA to see a special exhibit about the Civil War, called "A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning and Memory in the American Civil War." The exhibit is named after a statement made by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. in 1863—“The field of photography is extending itself to embrace subjects of strange and sometimes of fearful interest.” The institution’s deep archives relating to the period supply the more than 150 works by famed war photographers Mathew Brady, George Barnard, Alexander Gardner, and Andrew J. Russell as well as an immense amount of lithographic and print material. The collection is extensive.
The last photograph of Lincoln was taken two months before his assassination.
The capture of John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators was also presented in depth.
These were some of the "motley crew," before and after their execution.
The photographs taken at the various battlegrounds are chilling.
After this exhibit we took the time to again see some of the Huntington Library's treasures, including Henry Huntington's copy of the"42 line" Gutenberg Bible. Forty-eight copies, or substantial portions of copies, survive, and they are considered by many sources to be the most valuable books in the world, even though a complete copy has not been sold since 1978.
This is John James Audubon's Birds of America printed in the "double elephant folio" size, which measure approximately 26 1/2 x 39 inches. Only a few books have ever been produced on this scale, and thus Double Elephant Folio has become synonymous with Audubon’s great work.
After the exhibits, we were fortunate to see the newly renovated Japanese Garden that had been closed during 2011.
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