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[Men and Horses with Farmland in the Background]
Albumen silver print
Gift of A. Hyatt Mayor, 1975
Not on view
This anonymous photograph may date from the Civil War and may depict a Union remount station in the Shenandoah Valley. Often run by civilians, remount stations were farms where horses were trained to replace those lost in battle. Although the photographer positioned his camera so that each aspect of the facility could be clearly seen-horses, trainers, training ground, and military encampment-the casual arrangement and informal demeanor of the subjects impart a lively and engaging quality to the image. More than a century later, the precise documentary meaning of this image has vanished, a bit like the horse that moved during the exposure, leaving only a blurred but beautiful impression of a fleeting reality.
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