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Catalog Data

Alexander Gardner, 17 Oct 1821 - 10 Dec 1882  Search this
Timothy H. O'Sullivan, 1840 - 1882  Search this
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 8.5 x 5.5 cm (3 3/8 x 2 3/16")
Mount: 9.9 x 6.3 cm (3 7/8 x 2 1/2")
c. 1863
Exhibition Label:
Gardner’s gallery and colleagues
The nation’s capital was a center for photography during the war, and Alexander Gardner set up his new studio in May 1863 at Seventh and D Streets, just a few blocks from that of his former employer, Mathew Brady. Gardner split with Brady after the success of his Antietam photographs. The signage gives a full range of Gardner’s services, showing how he catered to the market for photographic images; the main sign reads “News of the War.”
Not as flamboyantly costumed as in his first self-portrait, this image of Alexander Gardner shows him as a workingman, which was his family’s heritage back in Scotland. Gardner’s proficiency as a photographer was based in part on his manual dexterity; he was a master at coating the glass-plate negatives with collodion, which formed the plate’s light-sensitive emulsion. By the beginnings of 1863 James Gardner was working with his brother in Washington.
Timothy O’Sullivan (1840–1882) and his brother-in-law, William Pywell (1843–1886), also got their start with Brady. O’Sullivan teamed up with Gardner both at Antietam and Gettysburg and later had a successful career on his own. After the war, Pywell traveled west with Gardner to photograph the plains and the Native Americans living there.
Interior  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat  Search this
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache  Search this
Photographic format\Carte-de-visite  Search this
Timothy H. O'Sullivan: Male  Search this
Timothy H. O'Sullivan: Visual Arts\Artist\Photographer  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Larry J. West
Object number:
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery