More than two hundred of the finest and most poignant photographs of the American Civil War have been brought together for this landmark exhibition. Through examples drawn from the Metropolitan’s celebrated holdings of this material, complemented by important loans from public and private collections, the exhibition examines the evolving role of the camera during the nation’s bloodiest war.

Photography and the Civil War will include: intimate studio portraits of armed Union and Confederate soldiers preparing to meet their destiny; battlefield landscapes strewn with human remains; rare multi-panel panoramas of the killing fields of Gettysburg and destruction of Richmond; diagnostic medical studies of wounded soldiers who survived the war’s last bloody battles; and portraits of Abraham Lincoln as well as his assassin John Wilkes Booth. The exhibition features groundbreaking works by Mathew B. Brady, George N. Barnard, Alexander Gardner, and Timothy O’Sullivan, among many others.

NOTE: This exhibition contains images of the dead and wounded.


Adults | $15
Seniors and active military | $13
Children | $6
NOMA Members | free

Free admission for Louisiana residents on Wednesdays does not include admission into Photography and the American Civil War.

For information on group tours and rates, please call (504) 658-4136.

[President Abraham Lincoln, Major General John A. McClernand (right), and E. J. Allen (Allan Pinkerton, left), Chief of the Secret Service of the United States, at Secret Service Department, Headquarters Army of the Potomac]

Alexander Gardner

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005

Bonaventure Cemetery

George N. Barnard

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005

Battlefield of Bull Run

George N. Barnard

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933

Broadside for the Capture of John Wilkes Booth, John Surratt, and David Herold


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005

What do I Want, John Henry?

Alexander Gardner

Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Sponsors / Partners

Photography and the American Civil War is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The New Orleans presentation is sponsored by The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Major support is provided by the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, Kitty and Stephen Sherrill and J.P. Morgan. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by Melanee and Steven Usdin.