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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Photography review

Blue and Gray in black and white at Bowdoin College

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The 150th anniversary of the Civil War has reached the halfway mark, more or less. A bumper crop of exhibitions opened in 2011. There have been far fewer shows since. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Photography and the American Civil War,” earlier this year, is a notable example. For the most part attention has turned elsewhere. It shouldn’t. Duration was among the chief reasons for the war having such an enormous and lasting impact. So even if “ ‘This Mighty Scourge of War’: Art of the American Civil War” weren’t so well done, which it is, its presence would be welcome. The show runs through Jan. 5 at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

“ ‘This Mighty Scourge of War’ ” takes its title from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. The president might never have been in a position to deliver it — instead, George McClellan would have been giving his first — but for two key events in 1863: the fall of Vicksburg and the Union victory at Gettysburg, both in July.

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