The Free State of Jones

Victoria Bynum to speak on the “Free State of Jones” at the Lauren Rogers Museum

by Vikki Bynum

I’m pleased to announce that on September 10, 2015, I’ll be speaking on The Free State of Jones at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel, Mississippi. The talk begins at 5:30 p.m.; open to the public, admission is free. Donations are accepted.

My talk is part of the museum’s exciting new exhibition, Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection (see description below), which will run from September 6 through November 15, 2015. Hope to see you there!

The Lauren Rogers Museum, Laurel,Mississippi

The Lauren Rogers Museum, Laurel, Mississippi

The Origins of the Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection:

Drawn from the Becker Archive’s collection of over 650 works, these first-hand sketches of the era’s leading artist-reporters were originally commissioned for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. The subjects include depictions of Civil War battles and daily camp life.

Joseph Becker (1841-1910) was hired by the Illustrated Press as a sketch artist in 1863. Though Becker lacked formal training, he excelled at his position and in 1875 was promoted to Manager of the paper’s art department. The Collection includes works from Becker and his colleagues, including Edwin Forbes (1839-1895), Arthur Lumley (1837-1912), and Francis H. Schell (1834-1909).

There has been no major exhibition or scholarly survey featuring Civil War drawings since the 1961 centennial, and at that time the Becker Collection had not yet come to light. Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is the first opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to see selections from this important and unknown collection and appreciate these national treasures as artworks.

The “first-hand” drawings selected for this exhibition, most of which have never been published, document in lively and specific ways key developments in the history of America as it struggled to establish its national identity.

Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is curated by Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher and the traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California.  Drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection which was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.

5 replies »

  1. Hi Vikki,

    I would LOVE to be there!!!! Would love to be present when ever and where ever you make a presentation. Alas, I’m not eager to do much traveling. (All the fault of Gremlins. Those nasty little creatures stuck cigs in my mouth for over 50 years. Now I’m stuck with having to tote an oxygen tank everywhere. )

    I love knowing that you have a GREAT movie in the works. Wow! Matthew McConaughley (sp?) Another WOW! Still, not all that surprising. Both you and Gregg are multi-talented. I love it that the two of you first met years ago in San Diego. Please, please, please come back. I’ll be waiting. And so will a bunch of young Saudi guys, too. ( Saudi Arabia.) These young neighbors are here in San Diego to learn English. When one of them asked me if I liked Willie Nelson, I immediately knew that I had to share Dr G and the Mudcats with them. Oh yeah! They started bouncing around. I love it! When they return to Saudi Arabia they will be taking A CD ‘Swampy Tonk Blues’ home with them.

    Again, Vikki, many thanks to you and Gregg. Both of you have added a on-going positive in my life. For that I am very grateful!

    Warmest Regards,

    The Older Vikky (the one born and raised San Diego)


    • Thanks for commenting, Vikky—Dr. G and I are always glad to hear from you–and we so appreciate your taste in books and music!

      Your friend, Vikki (the one from a San Diego of long, long ago)


  2. Vikki, I’ll be there in spirit this evening…with my copy of “Free State of Jones” close at hand…give my regards to Jones County.



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