You Should Have Seen It In Color

By June 17, 2014Blog

For any historian, seeing or hearing the past, holding it in your hand, is almost euphoric. We trudge around cemeteries, carefully handle old letters, documents, and newspapers while every word drips like nectar from the pages, visit historic houses and museums to “hear” the artifacts talk—to feel the past—and pour over old photographs and paintings to understand the humanity of the subject or event. History is alive to us, as alive as the people sitting in the room. I have more often than I can remember talked to the pages of old books and documents. Historians have vivid imaginations. You cannot be a good historian without one.

We often wonder what it would be like to hear George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, to be a fly on the wall at the Philadelphia State House in 1776, or to be an eyewitness to some great event, to see it in color, undimmed by the shades from black and white photographs. We want to smell it, touch it, see it, taste it, and feel it. The best histories, whether in print, film, sound, or presentation, come to life. They are a part of us and define who we are as a people.

Thankfully, there are artists who work to “colorize” the past. For those of us who enjoy Southern history, a Danish artist named Zuzah has produced several beautiful colorizations of Southern heroes. His website and Facebook account have more, but I have provided a sampling of his work, some from the War, others from American history that Abbeville readers may find interesting. He does work on commission, so if you have an old photograph or a historic event or person in mind that you think would look great in color, contact him. His specialty is the War, but as you can see from his website portfolio, he has produced some interesting prints in American and European history and pop culture as well. Enjoy!

Robert E. Lee
Lee colorized

Robert E. Lee
Lee colorized 2

Robert E. Lee
lee colorized 3

Thomas J. Jackson
jackson colorized

Jefferson Davis
jefferson davis colorized

Kirby Smith
Kirby Smith Colorized

George Pickett
Pickett colorized

John Singleton Mosby
Mosby colorized

George Washington Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee, and Walter Taylor
GW Custis Lee, Lee, Walter Taylor colorized

Richard Taylor
Taylor colorized

William Henry Fitzhugh Lee
william henry fitzhugh lee colorized

Captain George W. Hackworth, 1st Virginia Cavalry
captain george w hackworth 1st virginia cavalry colorized

Benjamin Huger
benjamin huger colorized

John B. Gordon
john b gordon colorized

John B. Hood
hood colorized

Lewis Powell, William H. Seward’s would-be assassin
lewis powell colorized

George Patton (had Confederate ancestors)
Patton colorized

President Martin Van Buren (one of the better U.S. Presidents)
van buren colorized

President James Buchanan (the most underrated President in American history)
james buchanan colorized

President Grover Cleveland (the last Jeffersonian to hold the office)
Grover Cleveland colorized

Edgar Allen Poe
Poe colorized

Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is the author or co-author of six books, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America (Regnery History, 2017), 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her (Regnery History, 2016), The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, (Regnery, 2009), The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012), Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012), and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes, (Regnery, 2012). He received a B.A. in History from Salisbury University in 1997 and an M.A. in History from the University of South Carolina in 1999. He finished his Ph.D. in History at the University of South Carolina in 2006, and had the privilege of being Clyde Wilson’s last doctoral student. He lives in Alabama with his wife and three daughters.

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