Each week, our American Artifacts series takes viewers into archives, museums and historic sites around the country. Tonight we travel to sites in Boston and Washington.
First, an exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum features paintings and photographs created during the Civil War, and considers how art was influenced by the conflict. Smithsonian Curator Eleanor Jones Harvey reveals how the war can be seen in seemingly unrelated works such as landscape paintings, and also examines the work of several soldier artists.
Next, C-SPAN visits the National Building Museum to learn about the construction of the building and why the space has been used for many presidential inaugural balls.
Then, we tour Boston’s Old North Church, famous for its steeple, where one night in 1775, patriots hung two lanterns to signal that British troops were moving by water out of Boston, leading to the first shots of the American Revolutionary War.
And finally, we see portraits and objects representing major personalities of the time at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery exhibit, “1812: A Nation Emerges."