If – like me – you’re planning a visit to DC during this 1862 sesquicentennial year, be sure to add the National Portrait Gallery to your must-sees. In addition to an exhibition of Brady’s portraits of the Union generals, there’s a collection of Adalbert Volck etchings on display.
A Volck lithograph was reproduced in the very first Civil War book I was ever given, and his clean, line-drawn caricatures and wicked sense of humour immediately caught my attention. I’m excited to see what’s on view.
A dentist by trade, Volck served the Southern cause in a myriad of ways, including smuggling medical supplies to Virginia across the Potomac River. However, Volck’s most significant contribution to the Confederate cause was his production of pictorial propaganda that vilified Lincoln, abolitionists and Union soldiers in his publication Sketches from the Civil War in North America.