President Lincoln was the very first American president who used photography for political reasons
Captured February 5, 1865. President Lincoln was the very first American president who used photography for political reasons. During his initial presidential campaign during 1860, thirty-five portrait images of the presidential candidate taken by Mathew Brady a photographer and circulated throughout the nation.
The immediacy from a photograph produced a feeling of intimacy between a viewer and a subject (or the voter and the candidate) that scant few painted portraits ever achieved especially in the middle of the nineteenth century, when photography was still unique to many Americans At that era, photography, or picture-taking as it was called, was extremely new while the cameras were quite huge.
Taking a picture consumed a great deal more time than acquiring one today. Lincoln needed to sit exceptionally still for long periods of time. In this picture, Lincoln is seen sitting on a chair, appearing like an everyday person, rather than as a president. His face shows seriousness, yet friendly and caring. His bowtie is not too straight while his hair appears tousled. He is clutching eyeglasses along with a pencil in his hand. Lincoln was but 55 years old shown in this image, although he appears much older.
The Artist, was a renowned photographer and one of a small group of photographers who worked using pictures to document the Civil War. Many of the photographs he took were soldiers leaving their homes to go off to war. Gardner opened studio for photography in the Washington, D.C. capitol, after the Civil War concluded. On one particular Sunday during 1865, Lincoln dropped into the studio of Gardnerís to get his picture made with the intent to make a photograph for a portrait artist, a painter, retained to paint a portrait of Lincoln. Since president Lincoln was extremely busy, with no time to spend posing for a painter. They determined the artist could be able to paint a portrait using a photograph instead. Gardner made the photograph, which went on to become more legendary than the painting.
The Historical Perspective
Photography was still in it;s infancy at the time frame this picture was shot. The image wasn't the first photo taken of Lincoln. The president believed photography were a great development in helping politicians get elected. It was a fresh approach letting people see the actual faces of the leaders who were making decisions and running the nation. Photographs helped voters feel as if they already knew their leaders. The nations Civil War was concluding during the time this photograph was taken. The stress from war along with all of the great losses the American people endured weighed heavy on the mind of Lincoln and reflected on his face. This photo was acquired only three months prior to President Lincoln being assassinated. He, like numerous others, gave up his life along the way of upholding the union and preserving the ideals of equality and freedom.
Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War:
Selected Writing and Speeches (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)The supplemental narrative is beautifully written. Undergraduates should find it easy to track the development of president Lincoln's career and way of thinking. The content shows Johnson's has absolute mastery of this Lincoln principle, however presents it in a totally clear and simple-to-follow style
- Dec 26, 2012