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Now They Belong to the Ages


An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia

The video above shows the staff at ATTA, Inc., in the final stages of producing and crating the five life-form figures that will appear in An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia. These figures accompany more than 200 original objects and seventeen audiovisual programs that comprise the exhibition.

The female African American figure appears in a section of the exhibition entitled “Who Freed the Slaves?” She represents the 3.5 million African Americans who remained enslaved throughout the conflict and the importance of their labor to the Confederate war effort.

The four military figures portray a Confederate standard bearer’s struggle to defend his regiment’s flag during the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. They are displayed in front of an Army of Northern Virginia battle flag that was captured by Lt. Joseph C. Paradise, 5th Maine Infantry on May 10, 1864.

We met Karen Atta and the models (Gabriel, Harley, Micah, Marcella, and Clement) at Atta, Inc.’s studio in New York City back in October 2010. To produce the life-like figures, each model was covered in medical grade plaster bandage and dental alginate for two to three hours to produce the mold. The figures were then cast in fiberglass, dressed, and coated in a plastic resin. In all, about eighty to one hundred hours were committed to the production of each figure.

Special thanks to the staff at Atta, Inc., and all the models. Their cast images are now monuments for the ages.

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