The Sharpsburg Historical Society presents an exhibit of 51 watercolors by Garnet W. Jex at the Washington County Arts Council Gallery, 14 West Washington Street, Hagerstown, Md., from Sept. 7 through Oct. 2.
Jex produced the paintings between 1962 and 1965 as part of the centennial anniversary of the Civil War. The paintings depict battles and events along the Upper Potomac as well as along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Antietam Creek between 1859 and 1863.
Several images are of events at Williamsport, Md., and Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry. The collection titled The Upper Potomac in the Civil War appeared in black and white photographs in a booklet published in 1965 by the District of Columbia Civil War Centennial Commission. Jex, the president of the Washington, D.C., Civil Round Table in 1962, was the official artist of the Commission.
The free opening reception on Friday, Sept. 7 from 5-7 p.m. will include remarks by John Frye, historian, who helped with the 1967 exhibit of 12 of the paintings at the Washington County Free Library. Clifford Springer, antique and fine arts appraiser will share thoughts about the art and its value.
Jennie Avila will perform original compositions from the special 150th anniversary edition of Civil War Stories in Song. The CD will be available for purchase.
Prints of 10 of the images will be offered as well as note cards of 12 of the images. A full-color reproduction of the 1965 booklet published with the partnership of the Harpers Ferry Historical Association will also be available.
The new book contains material from the centennial booklet, Jex's original narratives for each image, his margin notes about location, sources, and personal reflection. Timothy R. Snyder, historian and author of Trembling in the Balance: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal During the Civil War has written additional historical notes about the evens and places.
Purchases of the images, note cards and book will benefit the Arts Council and the Sharpsburg Historical Society.
Two additional programs are scheduled, one on Sept 14 and another on Sept. 28 at 5:45 each evening. The Sept. 14 program by Tim Snyder will explore the historical aspects and significance of the events of the paintings. The Sept. 28 program by the Executive Director of the Harpers Ferry Historical Association, Debbie Piscitelli, will be "Jex: The Artist and the Art.
The exhibit and programs are sponsored in part by the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, the Hagerstown Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Maryland State Arts Council.
For more information, please visit www.washingtoncountyarts.com or call Vernell Doyle, Sharpsburg Historical Society, 301 992 9767