After 30 years, the Civil War was starting to fade into memory. William Harnett was one artist that focused on this escaping past. Harnett, an Irish American, set himself apart from other trompe-l’oeil artists, by painting objects that are not traditionally depicted in artwork, like firearms. Harnett painted firearms of a bygone era since they were becoming increasingly scarce. It was a way to commemorate the past, but this art, like many other factors during this time, resulted in a blurring of the line between where historic reality stopped, and perception and memory began.