Unveiling “The Battle of Gettysburg”

"Battle of Gettysburg" (detail), oil on canvas, by Isaac White Fisher Eaton. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

“Battle of Gettysburg” (detail), oil on canvas, by Isaac White Fisher Eaton. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

On Wednesday, December 7th, we invite you to a special program to celebrate the recent gift of Isaac White Fisher Eaton’s The Battle of Gettysburg to the Museum. This large painting was created in the 1880s to commemorate Maine’s contribution to that pivotal Civil War battle. Eaton was from Bowdoinham, Maine, and served in a unit that saw action at Gettysburg.

This action-filled painting hung for many years at the Merrymeeting Grange in Bowdoinham. Last year Betsy Steen, the chair of the Collections Committee at the Bowdoinham Historical Society, contacted the Museum and, on behalf of the Grange, offered the painting to Bowdoin.

Having been on view in Bowdoinham for more than a century, the painting and its frame required extensive conservation work. After accepting this gift, the Museum reached out to Nina Roth-Wells, Bowdoin class of 1991, a painting conservator in Georgetown, and Johanna Moore, a gilder and picture frame conservator in Portland. Over the last year Roth-Wells and Moore have worked long hours to conserve the painting and to re-mount it in its original frame. They will both be in attendance at this program to speak about their work on the painting.

Nina Roth-Wells, painting conservator

Nina Roth-Wells, painting conservator

We are grateful for the generosity of the membership of the Merrymeeting Grange and for the expert conservation work by Roth-Wells and Moore. Please join us at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on the 7th as we unveil this newly-restored painting and tell the story of its nineteenth century and more recent past.

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