Seminary Ridge Museum
Voices of Duty + Devotion

The Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum offers an in-depth look at the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, which was waged within view of the seminary, and detailed insight into the care of the wounded.

24 Fiberglass Figures With Natural Paint, Hair + Clothing

Completed: March 2013

Designer: The PRD Group

Client: Explus, Inc.

project details

Voices of Duty and Devotion– occupies three floors and 16,000 square feet of the original seminary building and takes visitors on a journey from the first days of the Battle of Gettysburg, to the care of the wounded in the Seminary hospital as well as their recovery. It also discusses the civic and spiritual debates that tore religious groups apart during the years of the Civil War and our country's capacity for reconciliation after the war was over. Schmucker Hall, home of the museum, was the largest field hospital at Gettysburg and the museum is a tribute to the building's storied history.

Atta created a total of 24 figures with realistic paint finish and clothing. We worked closely with Civil War experts and the museum to create intricate and authentic period tableaus.

  • THE WOUNDED: The first room holds eight dusty and wounded Union soldiers who have come from days of brutal fighting in the nearby battlefield. They're exhausted and only have hastily-applied field-dressings.
  • SURGERY: Surgeries at this time were often done hastily with only minor attempts at sterilization or sanitation. In this diorama, an assistant is administering a cloth soaked in ether before the surgeon removes the young man's leg.
  • NURSES: After surgery the soldiers convalesced in common rooms. The room was originally a seminary student's bedroom, but when the school was transformed into a hospital most of the spaces were repurposed to accommodate the building's new use. This room held four men who are being cared for by one of the seminary's nuns and an enlisted soldier.
  • NURSES CONTINUED
  • OFFICERS: Higher-ranking officers could enjoy more private rooms, but generally still had to share. Here an officer is being visited by his wife and children. The dress was hand-made by a notable reenactment seamstress for this exhibit. She also made the baby's dress and the boys clothes. On the opposite bed in the room another officer writes a letter using a lap desk.
  • AFRICAN AMERICAN UNION SOLDIERS: After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, African Americans joined the Union forces with the promise of full citizenship. As the war dragged on, many were also offered land and additional pay to encourage recruitment. Here a wife is giving her husband the family bible as he leaves for war.
  • Figure Making Process
THE WOUNDED: The first room holds eight dusty and wounded Union soldiers who have come from days of brutal fighting in the nearby battlefield. They're exhausted and only have hastily-applied field-dressings.
SURGERY: Surgeries at this time were often done hastily with only minor attempts at sterilization or sanitation. In this diorama, an assistant is administering a cloth soaked in ether before the surgeon removes the young man's leg.
NURSES: After surgery the soldiers convalesced in common rooms. The room was originally a seminary student's bedroom, but when the school was transformed into a hospital most of the spaces were repurposed to accommodate the building's new use. This room held four men who are being cared for by one of the seminary's nuns and an enlisted soldier.
NURSES CONTINUED
OFFICERS: Higher-ranking officers could enjoy more private rooms, but generally still had to share. Here an officer is being visited by his wife and children. The dress was hand-made by a notable reenactment seamstress for this exhibit. She also made the baby's dress and the boys clothes. On the opposite bed in the room another officer writes a letter using a lap desk.
AFRICAN AMERICAN UNION SOLDIERS: After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, African Americans joined the Union forces with the promise of full citizenship. As the war dragged on, many were also offered land and additional pay to encourage recruitment. Here a wife is giving her husband the family bible as he leaves for war.
Figure Making Process