Infamy and Art
March 24, 2011
One day you wake up and the world is different.
It's not the 21st century, it's the 19th. It's 1863 to be exact, and you and other rural families of Jackson, Cass and Bates counties and part of Vernon are forced by the issue of Order Number 11 to "remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days"... Imagine the hardship of uprooting your family and abandoning everything you have worked hard for and accomplished.
The suffering caused by the infamous Order No. 11, issued by General Thomas Ewing, was depicted by an artist who protested its' enactment by painting. Not just any run-of-the mill artist, the painter happened to be Missourian George Caleb Bingham, who vowed to "make you infamous with pen and brush".
His now famous painting, Order No. 11, is on exhibit at the Truman Library until August 20th.
To get some background on this area during the Civil War, we have loads of books...The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri, 1854-1861 by James Denny would be an interesting start. The Painting and Politics of George Caleb Bingham by Nancy Rash is available. Also, George Caleb Bingham: Missouri's Famed Painter and Forgotten Politician by Paul C. Nagel is on order, too and is sure to be an interesting take on Bingham.
Independence resident Brent Schondelmeyer collaborated with Bryan Shepard to create a video vignette of some of Bingham's paintings. Dana Mengel, also of Independence, composed the music which vividly accompanies the paintings. He and his brother capture the spirit of those days as they play the violin and cello.
Order Number Eleven: http://vimeo.com/20023960
North Independence Branch