Capturing America’s Conflicts

Nov 11 2013 @ 6:00pm

In honor of Veterans Day, the Washington Post has created Portraits of War, a portfolio of some of the greatest war photography of the last 150 years. Among the ten featured photographers is Mathew Brady:

dish_bradyBrady remains the single most famous photographer of the Civil War. His name came to overshadow those of other photographers, causing some mistakenly to believe that Brady had almost single-handedly created the immense photographic archive. Brady deserves credit for envisioning the possibility of using photography systematically to document the war. He would send teams of photographers – and occasionally go himself – to create images of battlefields and important leaders. His public display of “The Dead of Antietam” was the first time the American public viewed images of dead soldiers on the battlefield.

Brady’s efforts to document the Civil War pushed him into a series of bankruptcies. In the years after the war, he campaigned to get Congress to buy his collection of negatives and prints. In 1875, Congress finally bought the rights to his work for $25,000.

See the full tribute here.

(Photo of Union soldier by gun at US Arsenal, Washington DC, 1862, by Mathew Brady via Wikimedia Commons)