Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest

Article excerpt

The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest. Edited by Jennifer Roth Bucci. David B. Warren Symposium. (Houston: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2012. Pp. [xii], 111. Paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-0-89090-176-2.)

The Civil War and the Material Culture of Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest is a slim volume containing four essays written by participants from the third biennial David B. Warren Symposium held at Bayou Bend in Houston in 2011. Despite the title, the content of the book is not so tightly bounded by either geography or time frame, with each essay covering a specific aspect of the material culture of the South roughly around the time of the Civil War. Jason T. Busch of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, opens the volume with an exploration of material culture along the Mississippi River in the decade before the war, focusing primarily on the decorative arts. George Washington University professor John Michael Vlach looks at depictions of plantations and black labor in the South from the antebellum period through the end of the twentieth century, revisiting the subject of his book, The Planter's Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings (Chapel Hill, 2002). Art historian Dana E. Byrd studies the history of looting and the confiscation of property during and after the war on South Carolina plantations--a topic deserving of further consideration by scholars of southern material culture. The final essay by Rice University doctoral candidate Katie Knowles examines clothing, cotton, and textiles in the South during wartime, making extensive use of Kate Stone's wartime diary of life on a Louisiana cotton plantation. …

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