Imagining the West

 
Cathedral Rock
Carleton E. Watkins, Cathedral Rock, c. 1866. Albumen print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Gallery of Illustrious Americans
Mathew Brady, Construction of Washington Monument, 1860.
Mathew Brady, Frederick Douglass, c. 1880.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil War
1861 - 1865
 
  • Conflict between northern & southern states
  • Involved numerous disputes, although most of them centered on the issue of slavery
  • More than 300 photographers documented the battle zones
  • At least 623,000 killed in the war
  • More than 23,000 died in Battle at Antietam
Alexander Gardner, Carnage at Antietam, 1862.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mathew Brady, General Ulysses S. Grant and General John A. Rawlins, c. 1863.
Mathew Brady, Confederate Soldiers Awaiting Transportion, Belle Plain, VA, 1863.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brady's Photo Outfit
Roger Fenton's "Photographic Van"
Mathew Brady's photo outfit during Civil War

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burial Party

John Reekie, A Burial Party, Cold Harbor, VA, 1865.

 

"The exhibition of [Brady's] images [from the Battle of Antietam], only a month after the battle, caused a sensation. A reporter for The New York Times wrote, 'Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it.'" -Kee Malesky, NPR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Barnard, Destruction of Hood's Ordinance Train, Atlanta, 1864.

 

The American civil war then and now

 

more Civil War photos from Brady's corps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Gardner and his portable dark room, 1867.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it. . . .By the aid of the magnifying glass, the very features of the slain may be distinguished." - The New York Times, 1862
Alexander Gardner, Abraham Lincoln Meeting with George McClellan at Antietam, 1862.
Alexander Gardner, Trossel's House,
Battlefield of Gettysburg
, 1863.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home of the Rebel Sharpshooter

Alexander Gardner, Home of the Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg, 1863.

 

"If a studio photographer's duty was to arrange the sitter for a specific effect, and if the resulting image was considered reality, then where were the boundaries of truthfulness when a photographer went outside the studio?" - Robert Hirsch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was the effort to document the Civil War a profitable venture?
 

Harvest of Death

  • 1869 Brady petitiond U.S. government to purchase negative archive for $125,000
  • Brady spent about $100,000 funding the project & produced more than 10,000 plates
  • After U.S. refused to purchase, Brady went bankrupt and had to sell his portrait studio
  • In 1875 the government paid Brady $27,840
  • Brady died in the charity ward of Presbyterian Hospital in NY
Timothy O' Sullivan, A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, 1863.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gardner also petitioned government to buy his archive and was rejected
  • 90,000 of Gardner's glass plate negatives were scrapped for the glass and silver
Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War, Volume 1, 1863.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manifest Destiny and the Western Frontier
 
Manifest Destiny = the duty and the right of the United States to expand its territory and influence throughout North America

John Gast,  American Progress, c. 1872.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographer Unknown, Cutting on the Forty-Ninth Parallel, 1860 - 1861.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Gardner, Westward, the Course of Empire Takes Its Way c. 1869.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew J. Russell, Trestle Work, Promontory Point, Salt Lake Valley, c. 1868 - 1869. Albumen silver print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 10th, 1869 “Golden Spike” connection at Promontory, Utah between the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific - September 6th, 1869 when the Last Link of the Transcontinental Railroad was opened from Sacramento to Oakland.

 

Andrew J. Russell, Meeting of the Rails, Promontory Point, Utah, 1869. Albumen print.