Mathew Brady and the Image of History
Modern memory of the Civil War owes much to the lens of Mathew Brady, one of the most famous and paradoxical figures in American photography. During a career that spanned the 1840s to the 1890s, Mathew Brady consciously set out to capture the pivotal moments of the second half of the nineteenth century. The best of his brilliant work is here, including his famous portraits of President Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, the Union dead, and Robert E. Lee-haunting images that strove to create the vision of a stable, purposeful republic even as national identity was fragmenting.
Mary Panzer teaches at Hunter College and New York University and writes on photography and American history. She lives in New York City.