Where is your eye drawn when you look at this painting? What does the artist not show to us? What might be right beyond the frame?
Imagine this painting as a moment in time. What might have occurred either before or after?
This Civil War scene presents the faces of men and women, young and old, black and white, who display hope, sadness, and defiance. The issue of Union refugees— people fleeing the Southern states—was frequently discussed in Northern newspapers during the war and became the subject for this Philadelphia painter. Who would take them in? What would be their fate? The subject remains relevant today, as refugees displaced by wars worldwide leave loved ones and belongings behind to seek a better life.
What are the consequences of war or political violence for civilians? How do we see the needs of refugees affecting American policies and politics today?
When politicians are making important decisions about laws and public policies, why might it matter that they have diverse experiences, opinions, and perspectives?
What does the government owe its citizens in terms of justice and retribution for those who are wronged?
Exhibition sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin
Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by:
Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. | Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops | Alturas Foundation | Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. | Sotheby’s | Bob and Becky Alexander | Marybeth and Micky Mayfield | Lamar and Shari Steiger | Jeff and Sarah Teague / Citizens Bank | Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities | Avis and Bill Bailey | Scarlett and Neff Basore | June Carter Family | Terri and Chuck Erwin | Jackye and Curtis Finch | The Harrison and Rhonda French Family | Jim and Susan von Gremp | Laurice Hachem | Shannon and Charles Holley | Valorie and Randy Lawson / Lawco Energy Group | Donna and Mack McLarty | Steve and Susan Nelson | Neal and Gina Pendergraft | Helen Porter | JT and Imelda Rose | Lee and Linda Scott | Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees | William Reese Company