Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Katherine Hauser

Second Advisor

Martha Wiseman


James Hope’s 1888 painting After the Battle was his initial composition commemorating the Civil War battle of Antietam. Supposedly based on Hope’s own eyewitness sketches, the painting and its copies have been valued mainly as accurate documentary images. However, After the Battle was an imaginative reconstruction, compiled from multiple sources more than two decades after the war. Hope incorporated specific figures from Alexander Gardner’s photographs of the dead at Antietam into a participatory experience, using the evidence of the photographs to authenticate his panoramic painting of the post-battle landscape. After the Battle was a purposefully retrospective memorial image, one that supported sectional reconciliation in post-Reconstruction America.