In the 21st century, photographer Matthew Brady (ca. 1822 - 1896) is widely remembered as a chronicler of the Civil War, but by the time the War began in 1860, Brady and his studio were already well-established as portrait photographers. This show, from the National Portrait Gallery, presents 21 of Brady's portraits of Union Generals. The introduction on the website is illustrated with a view of Brady's studio in New York City, showing customers browsing large format portrait photographs hung on the walls. However, the hundreds of generals photographed by Brady and his team preferred the smaller, calling card-size photographs known as cartes de visite, and the web exhibition consists of digital reproductions of modern prints made from Brady's carte-de-visite negatives. Each general's image is accompanied by a short history, such as the story of General Joseph Hooker, who was defeated by Robert E. Lee's much smaller army at Chancellorsville, Virginia in 1863. The histories will be familiar to Civil War buffs, but even the uninitiated can get a crash course in military history by viewing the Generals' images and stories at the site.
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