COLUMBIA — Framed postal envelopes from the Civil War era. Antique revolvers. A period dress. Paintings from Confederate perspectives.
These are among the artifacts and images at the State Historical Society of Missouri that chronicle Missouri's visual history of the Civil War. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 18, will be the focus of a detailed tour at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the State Historical Society at MU's Ellis Library.
Joan Stack, the society's curator of art collections, will lead the tour. The exhibit displays Civil-War-era artifacts, such as printed envelopes with patriotic Union images, including one that had been scribbled out by a Confederate supporter, portraits and paintings – notably original paintings by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham.
“We have these major works a lot of people don’t know about,” Stack said.
All of the artifacts and images are original "in some form or another," she said, such as a newspaper print of Bingham's painting Order No. 11, whose original metal plate is kept in the Historical Society's collection.
The tour was interesting, but it's much more interesting because of the tour guide being so enthusiastic about the subject, MU student Becca Sullinger said during a Thursday visit to the exhibit. "It's cool to know the history of the place you're from."
Although there are numerous cultural and historical works, Stack doesn’t have a specific favorite. “It’s hard to pick one thing because they all work together to tell a story,” Stack said.
The tour is free and open to the public and offers visitors an opportunity to ask questions and talk about the exhibit, Stack said. "It helps us to understand how the Civil War was experienced by everyday people."