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War Memoranda: A Conversation with Binh Danh and Robert Schultz

Binh Danh, artist, and Robert Schultz, John P. Fishwick Professor of English, Roanoke College. Binh Danh and Robert Schultz discuss their collaborative word and image exhibition War Memoranda (forthcoming in 2015) in relation to the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial, on view at the National Gallery of Art from September 15, 2013, through January 20, 2014. In this conversation recorded on September 22, 2013, Danh and Schultz point to the question explored in common by the two exhibitions, namely, “How do we remember war?”  War Memoranda is inspired by Walt Whitman’s war poems and prose in in Drum Taps (1865) and Memoranda During the War (1875). Whitman serves as presiding spirit of the exhibition in which Danh and Schultz will bring together daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, and unique “chlorophyll prints” drawn from the Liljenquist Collection at the Library of Congress to contemplate landscapes, memorials, and Civil War portraits. The collaborators also plan to present memorials to wars in their lifetimes—in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan—applying the techniques and media employed by Whitman and the great Civil War photographers.