Prison Camp Artist

Another one of those out-of-nowhere serendipitous museum stories that warm the cockles of my nerdy, bookish heart:

For years, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History hoped to display a piece of work by Henry VanderWeyde, an artist turned Union prisoner of war who spent a year behind bars in Danville.

“We had a copy of one called ‘Morning Toilette’. We were planning to use as part of our permanent Civil War Exhibit,” said Patsi Compton, the education coordinator for the museum.

But copyright issues prevented them from displaying his art. But last Thursday, Bob Mann arrived at the Museum with a sketchbook and the donation: page after page of sketches by VanderWeyde.

“His Grandfather came into possession of the sketchbook and he is not exactly sure how,” said Compton.

“His visit sort of came out of the blue,” said C.B. Maddox, visitor services coordinator.

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