June 24, 2008

More on Alexander Gardner

The University of California Press has published On Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War by Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young. The first in a new series called “Defining Moments in American Photography,” the small (approximately 8" x 6") volume reproduces 27 of the photographs and discusses them in two essays.

Lee, an art historian, writes about the images; Young, a literary scholar, writes about Gardner’s descriptive texts. The cover shows A Burial Party, Cold Harbor, Va., 1865, picturing African-American men assigned to gather and bury the remains of soldiers killed in battles there in 1862 and 1864. According to Lee, Gardner’s opus, besides being a seminal document of the Civil War, also stands as “a foundational volume in the history of American photography, the first book to rely so heavily on pictures for its meanings.”

The book is $50, hardbound; $19.95, softbound; 128 pages, with 27 duotones. To order, contact the University of California Press; or California- Princeton Fulfillment Services, 1445 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618, (800) 777-4726.

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