“Grant and Lee in War and Peace” Opens at New York Historical Society

The New York Historical Society’s new exhibit, “Grant and Lee in War and Peace,” opens today (Oct. 17) and runs through March 29, 2009. The exhibit features numerous objects from Washington and Lee’s Washington-Custis-Lee collection. These include a copy of Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington, a marble bust of Lee, and the Benjamin West painting of Lee with his wife, Mary Randolph Custis Lee. The exhibit in New York grew out of an earlier presentation by the Virginia Historical Society, which began as an observance of Lee’s 200th birthday in 2007.

In his story about the exhibit, Associated Press writer Richard Pyle begins:

Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met face-to-face only twice – once toward the end of the war wtih Mexico in 1848, and 17 years later at Appomattox, where then-Union commander Grant accepted the surrender of Lee’s battered Confederate army.

But the lives of these two iconic figures of 19th century America were both parallel and intertwined, as a new exhibit opening Friday at the New York Historical Society makes clear. “Grant and Lee in War and Peace” illuminates two men who in their similarities, differences and self-contradictions embodied the travails, successes and failures of the fast-expanding nation.

The Historical Society Web site has some of the artwork and a short video about the exhibit. You can also check out the New York Times review of the exhibition here.

%d bloggers like this: