Thursday, April 4, 2013

How Photography Feeds Our Fascination With the Civil War

It is believed that the first war-related photographs were taken in 1847 by an anonymous photographer during the Mexican–American War, of which we “Remember the Alamo” and little else. But when we think of the American Civil War, especially in this sesquicentennial year, we quite vividly picture the war thanks to the army of photographers that captured that conflict through the still-young medium and brought it back to the home front. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Photography and the American Civil War, studies how the “War Between the States” lives on as a dialogue between the modern viewer and century-and-a-half-old images as raw and fresh as pictures of contemporary wars beamed into our homes today. Of all the aspects of memory that feed our fascination with the Civil War, photography provides the single element that continually leaves us hungry for more. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How Photography Feeds Our Fascination With the Civil War."

[Image: Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840-1882). Alexander Gardner (American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821-1882 Washington, D.C.). Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg, 1863. Albumen silver print from glass negative. Preceding page in the album with printed title and caption. Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005. 2005.100.502.1 (37). Image: ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.]  
[Many thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to Photography and the American Civil War, which runs through September 2, 2013.]

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