A Bit of War History: The Contraband
- Creator:Thomas Waterman Wood
- Title:A Bit of War History: The Contraband
- Description:This is the left hand portion of a triptych showing an African American man in the same location at three stages of his military career. Here, he doffs his hat in greeting as he stands outside of the Provost Marshall's Office. In the background is a U.S. flag, drum, a new rifle with bayonette, and a newspaper lying on a chair. The man carries a knapsack on a stick and has dried tobacco leaves stuffed in his pocket. His clothes are rumpled.
- Historical Note:This series of three paintings by Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903), created in 1866, shows the progression of an ex-slave from his enlistment in the Union army to his return as a wounded veteran. Wood, who was living in Nashville in 1862, moved to Louisville in neutral Kentucky for the remainder of the war. His dignified and sympathetic portrayals of African Americans working in the fields or accepting new responsibilities prior to and immediately after the war are so unusual as to become political statements.
- Institution:The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y., Gift of Charles Stewart Smith, 1884/Art Resource, NY
- Publisher:Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
- Rights:Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Metropolitan Museum of Art.