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George Barnard's Photographic Views of the Sherman Campaign,

large folio, embossed calf boards,“PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS OF SHERMAN’S CAMPAIGN” in gilt, containing 61 albumen photographs, 11 x 14” each tipped onto a printed page. Conceived of by photographer George Barnard (1819-1902) as both a tribute to the Union campaign from Nashville to Atlanta, and then through the Carolinas, but also a decidedly artistic endeavour, production of the album began in 1866 and was limited to 100 copies. At the outbreak of the Civil War Barnard -- whose long career began as a daguerreotypist in Oswego, New York – found himself in Washington, D.C. working variously for Mathew Brady and the New York firm of E. and H.T. Anthony. It was as an employee of Brady that he received his first assignments to cover troops and events around Washington, D.C. Like most of the celebrated War photographers in Brady’s employ, he eventually left, and in 1864 became an official employee of the Topographical Branch of the Department of Engineers of the Union Army. In this capacity, Barnard was initially posted in Nashville, in the Western Theatre. From Nashville, his work took him to Chattanooga, then to Resaca and Atlanta, Georgia, and then on with Sherman’s army through Georgia and the Carolinas, and finally to Washington. Barnard had already conceived of his album by the time Gardner’s “Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War” was published in 1866. Encouraged by the praise Gardner received, Barnard’s plan took root. He envisioned selling his album by subscription and limited it’s production to 100 copies. In the spring of 1866, he revisited several of the battlefields in Tennessee and Georgia making new plates of the destruction made by shot and shell. Adding these to the extensive collection of plates he had assembled during the war, by the fall of that year production had begun in earnest, and by November he had completed the first of the albums. An unknown number of copies were ultimately printed, though likely less than the 100 he originally conceived of. The negatives Barnard chose show his preoccupation with the landscape, and are arguably some of the most curious images produced in the aftermath of the war. A number show military scenes in and around Nashville, Chattanooga, and before Atlanta, but an equal number are simply landscape studies, using blasted and twisted trees as metaphors for the destruction wrought by the war. The views of ruined buildings in Columbia and Charleston are more direct, and show the ultimate waste of war. An exceedingly rare album. One of the acknowledged landmarks in the history of photography.

Condition:

Complete condition report and a CD of all images available upon request.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$31,625
11/20/2002

 

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