Civil War tourism gaining steam
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 22, 2012 | 2179 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Artist Mort Kunstler shows a group one of his Civil War paintings that depicts the burning of Atlanta.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
Artist Mort Kunstler shows a group one of his Civil War paintings that depicts the burning of Atlanta. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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Containing about 40 paintings and 10 sculptures, the Booth Western Art Museum’s Civil War Gallery will take center stage during the upcoming Atlanta Campaign Bus Tour. With the overnight attendees staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, this tour will be the first Civil War-related “hub and spoke” venture based in Bartow County.

“[The paintings and sculptures] convey the history of the Civil War in a timeline approach,” said Seth Hopkins, executive director for the Booth Western Art Museum. “The paintings are hung chronologically as the events that are happening in the paintings occurred during the war. So it’s a great way through art to trace the history of the war in the paintings. And the majority of paintings are done by living artists. So they’re folks we have a relationship with and many have visited the museum and are known for historical authenticity and do a lot of historical research. So you can be pretty sure that what’s going on in the painting is authentic and correct to the time period. Mort Kunstler is one [of the artists]. Another that’s very prominent, and we have the largest collection of his work in the world, is Don Troiani.

“Those are probably the two best known living artists that do Civil War scenes and we have a large number of pieces by both of them. [Over the past year] we’ve seen a little bit of interest [in the Civil War] pick up. We had a Mort Kunstler [temporary] exhibition that opened last year on the anniversary of the start of the war and that did fairly well. There’s been some interest but I think it will not be until 2014, when we have the 150th anniversary of a lot of the battles and things that actually took place here and around Atlanta and Chattanooga — the anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign — [until] we’ll really start getting, I think, more intense interest.”

Hosted by the General Barton and Stovall History/Heritage Association, the tour will spotlight numerous sites along the Western & Atlantic Railroad, covering Bartow, Gordon and Forsyth counties. In addition to touring the Booth, the group also will visit the Bartow County towns of Adairsville, Kingston and Cassville as well as Barnsley Gardens Resort, Spring Bank, Cooper’s