Reading Public Museum exhibit to commemorate 150th anniversary of Gettysburg Address, battle

Mort Künstler considered to be 'foremost Civil War artist of our time'

READING, Pa. - The history of the Civil War will come alive this spring with a unique exhibit at the Reading Public Museum.

Nearly 30 paintings, etchings and sketches by renowned historical artist Mort Künstler will be on display in an exhibit titled, Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg: The Civil War Art of Mort Künstler, the museum announced Tuesday.

The exhibit, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, will open in the museum's American Gallery on April 26 with a book signing and lecture by the artist. It will run through July 28.

The Reading museum will be the first venue to display Künstler's newest work, titled Pickett's Charge, Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.

Künstler began his current emphasis on Civil War art in the early 1980s when he was commissioned to do a painting for the CBS mini-series, The Blue and the Gray.

Künstler quickly established himself as the country's most-collected Civil War artist and earned unprecedented acclaim within this genre.

"Mort Künstler is the foremost Civil War artist of our time -- if not of all time," said James I. Robertson Jr., the dean of Civil War historians and the author of the celebrated biography, Stonewall Jackson. "To study his paintings is to simply see history alive."

The cost to attend the opening reception at the Reading Public Museum on April 26 is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Reservations are required by calling 610-371-5850 x223.

The museum will present a related program of Civil War-era music by Ken Gehret and Friends on Mother's Day, Sun., May 12 from 1 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. The program will be presented for free with museum admission. Moms can get in for half-price with a child's paid admission.

Admission to the museum, located at 500 Museum Rd., is $10 for adults (18-64), $6 for children/seniors/college students (w/ID) and free to members and children three years old and under. The museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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