War Memoranda

Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz

August 21–October 16, 2016 in the Grand Gallery

Walt Whitman 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. It was organized by the Taubman Museum, Roanoke, VA.

Pictured: Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, Walt Whitman, 1887, in Camden House hosta leaf. Chlorophyll print, resin. Courtesy of the artists.

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

Related Programs:
Afghan War Rugs Talk with Annemarie Sawkins
Sunday, August 21, 2016 | 2 to 3 pm | included with museum admission
Join Annemarie Sawkins, co-curator of Afghan War Rugs, for a gallery talk in the exhibition. Meet in the Grand Gallery.

War Memoranda: Conversation with Binh Danh + Robert Schultz
Sunday, September 25 | 2 to 3 pm | included with museum admission
Danh and Schultz point to the question explored in common by the two exhibitions, namely, “How do we remember war?”

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.