This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

A New Art Form

mathew-brady

February 27, 1860:  Mathew Brady Photographs Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln

On this day in 1860, President Abraham Lincoln poses for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph is published on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with the caption, Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.

brady-lincoln

A relatively new art form, the photograph (or daguerreotype) showed an unusually beardless Lincoln just moments before he delivered an address at Cooper Union that day. The address, in which he articulated his reasons for opposing slavery in the new territories, received wild applause and garnered strong support for his candidacy among New Yorkers.

Lincoln was re-introduced to Brady a year after his election. The president shook Brady’s hand and said Mr. Brady and the Cooper Institute made me president. Brady went on to photograph Lincoln several more times before Lincoln’s death in 1865. Brady also snapped photos of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and two of Lincoln’s sons.

Lincoln during his "punk" hairdo era

Lincoln during his “punk” hairdo era

LINCOLNAbraham Lincoln by Matthew Brady, 1864

Brady’s works also include shots of President Zachary Taylor at his inauguration in 1849, President Millard Fillmore in 1850 and Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1861. After Brady’s wife approached Mrs. Grant on behalf of her husband, General Ulysses S. Grant agreed to let Brady tag along with the Union Army during the Civil War. Many of his resulting works now reside in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Lincoln was not the first presidential candidate, or president, to be photographed–that honor went to John Quincy Adams in 1843.

Small Collection of Brady’s Photos:

Victoria Woodhull, American leader of Woman's Suffrage Movement

Victoria Woodhull, American leader of Woman’s Suffrage Movement

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Touch Clouds

Touch Clouds

Nat Turner

Nat Turner

Mark Twain (center, with friends George Alfred Townsend and David Gray)

Mark Twain (center, with friends George Alfred Townsend and David Gray)

PT Barnum and Ernestine de Faiber (Barnum looks a bir creepy here)

PT Barnum and Ernestine de Faiber (Barnum looks a bit creepy here)

Clara Barton

Clara Barton

George Custer

George Custer

Brunside (or should we say "Sideburns")

Brunside (or should we say “Sideburns”)

Actress Ada Web

Actress Ada Web

President Grant

President Grant

Sherman

Sherman

Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady

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2 thoughts on “A New Art Form

  1. judet victorin on said:

    what was the names of the presidents who has fear the Lord and who new black and white were from one foundation please show me they names

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