The Graduate Center - City University of New York

Near Andersonville.

Georgia's Andersonville, also called Camp Sumter, was one of the most brutal of the Civil War's prison camps. Out of a total population of 45,000 prisoners, more than 13,000 captured Union soldiers died from starvation, disease,exposure, and violence. The title of Winslow Homer's 1866 painting alludes to the infamous Confederate prison, but its focus is on an enslaved woman standing on the threshold between darkness and sunlight—between slavery and freedom. A contemporary art critic described the painting as “full of significance,” yet it disappeared from public view, was renamed, and only regained its title and recognition as a Homer work in the 1980s.

Creator: Winslow Homer

Date: 1865-66

Source: Newark Museum