Guide Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation

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Few books about Brady have gone beyond being collections of the photographs attributed to him, accompanied by a biographical sketch.

Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation by Robert Wilson

MATHEW BRADY will be the biography of an American legend--a businessman, an accomplished and innovative technician, a suave promoter, a celebrated portrait artist, and, perhaps most important, a historian who chronicled America during its finest and gravest moments of the 19th century. This is not a book of politics, but one of process: Mr Wilson is very good at explaining how new approaches to image-making and printing made photography increasingly versatile and accessible.

Those with an interest in photography and the Civil War and especially fans of Timothy Egan's Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher will savor this telling glimpse into the America first captured on film, and the man who made it happen. Search form Search.

Advanced Search. By Robert Wilson.

Description In the s and s, "Brady of Broadway" was one of the most successful and acclaimed Manhattan portrait galleries. Find more information at www.

Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation

He manufactured leather cases for photographic equipment before going into the photography business himself. He opened his first studio in He accompanied the Union Army to its first major battle, at Bull Run, and the experience scared him to death.

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Wilson asks. Brady lost his Bull Run images in the tumult and rarely went near a battlefield again. He ran something like an early version of the Magnum agency.

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Wilson wades through these issues patiently, almost photo by photo. Wilson comments. Brady was right. There were bankruptcies.


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Some said he drank too much. Brady understood the history he was helping to make.