Looking for an enjoyable and educational way to spend some time in the Quad Cities?

The German American Heritage Center & Museum (712 W 2nd St. Davenport) currently is showcasing the exhibit, The Civil War: Through the Eyes of German-American Caricaturists. You can check out this amazing exhibit now through Monday Feb 4.

As the largest ethnic contingent to fight for the Union in the Civil War, German-Americans played a critical role in its outcome. Lesser known but also important is the work of two German-American caricaturists who not only influenced public opinion, but also how the conflict has come to be viewed and mythologized. The Civil War Seen Through the Eyes of German-American Caricaturists features the work of Thomas Nast, illustrator for Harper’s Weekly, and Adalbert Volck, Southern sympathizer, caricaturist and spy for the Confederacy.

Comparing and contrasting the work of these two artists, the exhibit explores the historical context of their work and sheds light on the issues and controversies that led to the deadliest conflict in our nation’s history. In addition, this exhibit focused on the act of putting President Abraham Lincoln in the crosshairs of political cartoons as well as view the caricatures in the context of the media during the Civil War.

Nowadays, Thomas Nast is famous for creating symbols like the Republican Elephant and the Democratic Donkey. More than that though, his uncountable Civil War drawings, published mainly in the popular newspapers of his time Harper’s Weekly, depict a wide range of aspects of life during the war. They furthermore commented on political events and had a notable impact on public opinion. The exhibit highlighted the exceptional career and the variety of this draftsman’s work, and point out how he fiercely supported President Lincoln and the cause of the Union.

In contrast to Thomas Nast, there is the less famous but still principal German dentist and artist Adalbert Volck who settled down in Richmond, Virginia and favored Southern secession. In this exhibit, his impressive drawings are compared to Nast’s work showing their reception of battle scenes, slavery, President Lincoln and much more. Being known as a smuggler and spy for the Confederacy, the exhibit also follows the remarkable story of Volck’s life.

This exhibit is included with regular paid admission at GAHC. Adult admission is just $5, Seniors are $4 and Children are only $3. For more information on your upcoming visit to GAHC, visit http://gahc.org/.

Tess Abney is a freelance writer who was born and raised in the Quad Cities. She spends most of her time attempting to successfully raise three boys. In her free time, writing is her passion. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.