Battlefields, Appomattox (Star in the East)

Media - 2012.42 - SAAM-2012.42_1 - 82224
Copied Sally Mann, Battlefields, Appomattox (Star in the East), 2001, printed 2003, gelatin silver print, sheet and image: 48 1238 12 in. (123.297.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Daniel Sallick and Elizabeth Miller, 2012.42, © 1998, Sally Mann

Artwork Details

Battlefields, Appomattox (Star in the East)
2001, printed 2003
Not on view
sheet and image: 48 1238 12 in. (123.297.8 cm)
© 1998, Sally Mann
Credit Line
Gift of Daniel Sallick and Elizabeth Miller
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Object Number

Artwork Description

Untitled [Appomattox #26] is an elegy to the hundreds of lives lost at Appomattox, one of the final battles of the American Civil War. Sally Mann spent two years traveling to battlefields across Maryland and Virginia, focusing on land where the deadliest combat took place. By using the wet-plate collodion process to make her negatives, Mann transports the viewer back to the Civil War era when the process was first used. She developed the photographs from the back of her pick-up, allowing dust and other particles into the developing liquid. This technique produced a scarred, hazy effect that lends an antique finish to the photograph. Mann was born in a Lexington home formerly owned by famed Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. This personal connection to the war informs her work from this series, known as Last Measure, which meditates on painful war memories that still pervade the South.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013