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Theresa Leininger-Miller, Ph.D, University of Cincinnati: Illustrated Sheet Music of the Civil War
January 19, 2017 @ 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm
Before the invention of the phonograph, music was primarily disseminated by way of printed sheet music. To make sheet music more marketable, publishers hired artists to design attractive patriotic covers. Theresa Leininger-Miller will share with us her study of illustrated sheet music published during and just after the Civil War. These gems of popular culture will be examined for both their artistic merit and historical significance.
The presentation will include vibrant chromolithographs produced by Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co., Middleton, Strobridge & Co., and Gibson & Co. and featured on several dozen illustrated sheet music covers from 1861 to 1885. Images and themes include Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, grand marches in honor of Generals Burnside, Halleck, Hancock, Jackson, and Sherman, retreats by Beauregard and Floyd, tributes to Ulysses S. Grant, children of the battlefield, mothers and military sons, patriotic tunes, privation and death. Included will be illustrations with Cincinnati ties such as “Squirrel Hunter’s March” featuring the unfinished Roebling Suspension Bridge, “Sanitary Fair Grand March,” and “Cincinnati Rover Guards Quick Step”. Producers of these pieces were in Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Louisville, and Nashville. Cincinnati publishers included the John Church Co., A.C. Peters & Bro., W.C. Peters & Sons, and David Truax.
Professor Leininger-Miller (Ph.D., Yale University) is an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati where she teaches 19th-21st-century American and European art history. She has curated exhibitions at the Public Library of Cincinnati, Yale University Art Gallery, and Weston Art Gallery. Awards are from the NEH, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Kress, Luce, and Smithsonian Institution.