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National Portrait Gallery presents The Confederate Sketches of Adalbert Volck

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery presents The Confederate Sketches of Adalbert Volck, an exhibition on view March 30, 2012, through Jan. 21, 2013.

Having come to the United States in 1848 in the wave of immigration from Germany after its failed revolution, Adalbert Volck settled in Baltimore. Unusual for the politically liberal German émigrés, Volck sided with the Confederacy. A dentist by trade, he served the southern cause in several ways, including smuggling medical supplies to Virginia across the Potomac. However, Volck’s most significant contribution to the Confederate cause was his production of pictorial propaganda that vilified President Abraham Lincoln, northern abolitionists and Union soldiers. While his major publication, Sketches from the Civil War in North America, had a small circulation, the etchings reveal the Confederate mindset and contemporary southern opinion. NPG curator: historian James Barber.

The National Portrait Gallery, part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website:

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