Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mathew Brady and the Beginnings of Photojournalism

Mathew Brady after the Battle of Bull Run
Mathew Brady after the Battle of Bull Run
This month marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the United States Civil War.  The Civil War was the first major conflict to be captured photographically and one of the most famous photographers of the era was Mathew Brady.

Brady, who was a portrait photographer in New York City before the war, wanted to document the war with photographs and financed the project himself. He and his assistants captured thousands of images of civil war battlefields and soldiers and contributed greatly to our understanding of the conflict.

After the war, there were few people who wanted to purchase the war images and Brady's studio was forced into bankruptcy. Despite the lack of commercial success, Brady is generally recognized as the founder of photojournalism and is now one of the best known photographers of the 19th century.

General Ulysses S. Grant by Mathew Brady
General Ulysses S. Grant by Mathew Brady



The Franklin Paper Mill and the Petersburg Railroad Bridge in Richmand, VA in 1865 by Mathew Brady
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