MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART PERMANENT COLLECTION

"The Lost Cause

Henry Mosler, attributed (1841–1920)
The Lost Cause
1869
Oil on canvas
19¾ x 26 13/16 inches
Museum purchase; 1989.01.004

The Lost Cause is a poetic tribute to the middle-class farmers of the South who fought and lost the Civil War. In fact, the painting is one of a pair of paintings that addresses the realities of the Civil War. Another painting, attributed to Mosler, entitled Leaving for War, which is known to us only through printed reproductions from the nineteenth century, depicts the same farmer turned Confederate soldier as he departs for the battlefield to defend his newly formed Confederate nation. Here, in The Lost Cause, the soldier returns home exhausted and depressed only to discover that his household has been destroyed and his family is gone.

During the Civil War, Mosler served as a war-artist for a magazine called Harper's Weekly. Like other artists during the period, Mosler recorded battle and likenesses of various officials through drawings. His drawings were then made into prints, which were published in the magazine. The Lost Cause, which was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1868, was such a popular image, that it too was copied into print form and sold throughout the country. The work owned by the Morris Museum is believed to be a copy of The Lost Cause painted by Mosler himself.

Museum Hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Sunday: Noon–5:00 p.m. • Closed Mondays and major holidays
Visit the Morris at 1 Tenth Street • Augusta, Georgia 30901 • p. 706-724-7501 • f. 706-724-7612

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