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Smithsonian Portrait Gallery to Open Exhibit on Antebellum Portraits


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A study of history through artistry opens next week at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady will trace his early career through portrait daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and salted-paper prints. Contemporary engravings, as well as several advertising broadsides Brady used to market his portrait enterprise, will also be included.
 
Read more about the exhibit that opens June 16, 2017.
 


 

Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady

June 16, 2017 - June 3, 2018
 
Featured on the First floor of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, this year-long exhibit will feature the works of Mathew Brady who is best known for his Civil War-era photographs.
 
Brady opened his first daguerreotype portrait studio in New York City in 1844, just five years after the introduction of the first commercially practical form of photography.  He became an internationally acclaimed portrait photographer more than a decade before the Civil War that he is best known for documenting. 

 

By 1851, he was among the most successful camera artists in the United States, and claimed top honors for his daguerreotypes at the Crystal Palace exhibition in London.

 

When a new photographic medium—the ambrotype—began to eclipse the daguerreotype in the mid-1850s, Brady adapted, creating some of the most beautiful ambrotype portraits ever produced. As the decade drew to a close, Brady’s studio remained in the vanguard of photographic innovation, producing handsome, salted-paper print portraits from glass negatives.

 

This Daguerreian Gallery exhibition will trace the trajectory of Brady’s early career through portrait daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and salted-paper prints in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Contemporary engravings, as well as several advertising broadsides Brady used to market his portrait enterprise, will also be included.

 

Ann Shumard, the Portrait Gallery’s senior curator of photographs, is the curator of this exhibition.

 

To learn more about what you can expereince on an educational tour of Washington, D.C., please Browse Our Tours

 

 



 

Topics: Curriculum standards and student travel

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