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Witness to War

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Exhibition Dates: January 18 - July 7, 2024

The Wittliff Collections present a remarkable collection of historic photographs and artifacts from the 1914 U.S. invasion and occupation of Veracruz, Mexico featuring the photographs of Walter Elias Hadsell (American, 1880-1967). Hadsell owned the Kodak franchise in Veracruz and was the first to photograph the landing of the U.S. Marines and Bluejackets (armed sailors) as they came ashore on April 21, 1914. Also on view are Hadsell’s photographs that capture early twentieth century life in Mexico. 

The exhibition is drawn from Susan Toomey Frost’s generous donation of her Veracruz collection which contains over 6,000 items. Photographs by Hadsell, military personnel, Mexican photographers, as well as song sheets, political cartoons, and newspapers reveal the story behind the invasion and occupation. 

All photographs in this exhibition by Hadsell are also featured in Witness to War: Mexico in the Photographs of Walter Elias Hadsell (Trinity Press, 2024) by Susan Toomey Frost. 

This exhibition was curated by Dr. Michael Nelson Miller and Carla Ellard. 

Sensitive Content Warning: This exhibition includes graphic images of dead bodies that some visitors may find disturbing.