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Mathew B. Brady – America’s Legendary Photographer

Matthew B. Brady is one of the most famous American photographers of the 19th century. His most famous works are the portraits of celebrities and pictures of the American Civil War. He is credited with the title of the father of photojournalism.

Brady was born in Warren County, New York, in the family of Irish immigrants Andrew and Julia Brady. In 1841, Brady’s artistic abilities allowed him to study from a qualified specialist Samuel Morse. In 1844, he had his own photography studio in New York. Brady began to exhibit his portraits of famous Americans.

In 1849, Brady opened a studio in Washington, DC, where he met Juliet Handi, whom he married in 1851.

Brady’s early works were performed in the technique of the daguerreotype, and he received numerous awards for his works. In the 1850s, he replaced the daguerreotypes with ambrotypes, which became popular. Photos were made on large glass negatives – this technique has become the most frequently used during the Civil War.

In 1850, Brady created a gallery of prominent Americans – a collection of portraits of outstanding contemporary figures. In 1859, the Parisian photographer André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi promoted de Visite cards and those little pictures (size of a business card) were fast to become a popular novelty – thousands of these images were created and sold in the United States and Europe.

In 1856, Brady created the first advertising, placing an ad in the New York Herald, offering paper for the production of photos, ambrotypes, and daguerreotypes. The novelty of his ad was the fact that for the first time the text fonts were different from the text of the newspaper itself and other advertisements.

Matthew B. Brady made thousands of photographs of the American Civil War. Much of what is known today about the Civil War comes from these photos. The photographs depict Abraham Lincoln, General Grant, as well as ordinary soldiers. Pictures provide picturesque views of the American Civil War history. Brady could not take pictures of battle scenes, as the photographic equipment in those days was not yet quite perfect.

During the war, Brady has spent more than $100,000, a huge sum of money in those days. He hoped that the government would buy his photographs after the war. When he realized that this hope would not come true, he tried to sell his collection of photographs, but it was unsuccessful. In 1875, the US Congress bought his collection for $25,000, which wasn’t enough to cover his debts. Depressed because of his financial problems and the death of his wife, Brady started drinking. In 1896, Brady, a poor sick alcoholic, died in a hospital for the poor.

Matthew B. Brady is one of the most famous American photographers of the 19th century. His most famous works are the portraits of celebrities and pictures of the American Civil War. He is credited with the title of the father of photojournalism.

Brady was born in Warren County, New York, in the family of Irish immigrants Andrew and Julia Brady.

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Assignment ID
100001975
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CREATED ON
September 25, 2016
COMPLETED ON
September 26, 2016
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$48
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