Monuments to the lost cause: women, art, and the landscapes of southern memory
Cynthia J. Mills, Pamela Hemenway Simpson
University of TENNESSEE Press
, 2003 - History
- 265 pages
This richly illustrated collection of fourteen essays examines the ways in which Confederate memorials – from Monument Avenue to Stone Mountain – and the public rituals surrounding them testify to the tenets of the Lost Cause, a romanticized narrative of the war. Several essays highlight the creative leading role played by women’s groups in memorialization, while others explore the alternative ways in which people outside white southern culture wrote their very different histories on the southern landscape. The authors – who include Richard Guy Wilson, Catherine W. Bishir, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, and William M.S. Ramussen – trace the origins, objectives, and changing consequences of Confederate monuments over time and the dynamics of individuals and organizations that sponsored them. Thus these essays extend the growing literature on the rhetoric of the Lost Cause by shifting the focus to the realm of the visual. They are especially relevant in the present day when Confederate symbols and monuments continue to play a central role in a public – and often emotionally charged – debate about how the South’s past should be remembered.
The editors: Art Historian Cynthia Mills, a specialist in nineteenth-century public sculpture, is executive editor of American Art, the scholarly journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Pamela H. Simpson is the Ernest Williams II Professor of Art History at Washington and Lee University. She is the coauthor of The Architecture of Historic Lexington.