The real war will never get in the books. — Walt Whitman

But the real books will always be filled with leaves,
And real leaves have always grown from the dead,
So the dead will always return in the books.
The dead, beloved, continue to speak in the leaves,
And the leaves of the book continue to green with the dead,
And the bronze leaves of the great book lie still beneath the copse of trees.

— Robert Schultz

War Memoranda probes the question “How do Americans remember war?” with soldiers’ portraits developed in the flesh of leaves, battlefield landscapes photographed using 19th-century technologies, and war poems of intimate reflection.

“The real war will never get in the books,” Walt Whitman declared. In response, photographer Binh Danh and poet Robert Schultz have drawn upon Whitman’s poetry and prose, as well as striking historical portraits of soldiers, to create daguerreotypes, chlorophyll prints, cyanotypes, artist’s books, and poems that contemplate American wars past and present.

This exhibition is offered concurrently with Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia.

This exhibition has been organized by the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia.

Sponsored by the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, with additional support from
the Grant Holcomb Endowment Fund, the Kayser Fund, the Irving and Essie Germanow Fund, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, and an anonymous donor.