In June 1864, an important episode in the American Civil War took place in international waters off the coast of Cherbourg, France: the duel between the United States warship U.S.S. Kearsarge and the Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama. The battle captivated the imagination of the French artist Edouard Manet (1832–1883), who made a painting of the battle (after the fact) before visiting the victorious Kearsarge at Boulogne-sur-Mer. In celebration of the Metropolitan's 1999 acquisition of Manet's The "Kearsarge" at Boulogne (1864), the Museum is presenting a dossier exhibition devoted to Manet's interest in the Civil War battle and the effect of the "Kearsarge" paintings on his circle. On view are five seascapes painted by Manet at Boulogne during the mid-1860s, as well as prints, photographs, and paintings by artists such as Courbet, Monet, and Whistler; a model of the Kearsarge; and a ship's log.
The exhibition is made possible by Prudential Securities.