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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Alexander Gardner

Names:
Joint: Mathew Brady's Studio 
Dates:  1821, 17 October - 1882, 10 December
Born:  Great Britain, Scotland, Paisley
Died:  US, Washington
Active:  US
Gender:  Male
 
  
American photographer who photographed the American Civil War - initially with Mathew Brady. In 1867 he became the Official Photographer of the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, which later became the Kansas Pacific.
The DeGolyer Library (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0396, USA) has a copy of the Gardner 127 plate 1867-1868 western landscape portfolio, Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad (Route of the 35th Parallel) which was the first comprehensive western landscape survey.
 
[With thanks to Anne Peterson]
His obituary in the New York Times (Dec 11, 1882, p.5) read:
 
"Alexander Gardner, a well-known citizen of Washington, who achieved a national reputation during the late war by his photographic work with the Army of the Potomac and who has been for several years prominently connected with Masonic and other relief associations, died yesterday morning of diabetes at the age of 61. He was born in Paisley, Scotland, and emigrated to America in 1850. He was the originator of the National Relief Association and has been an officer of it since 1874."

Preparing biographies

HomeContents > Further research

 
  
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General reading 
  
Harvey, Eleanor Jones, 2012, The Civil War and American Art, (Yale University Press) isbn-10: 0300187335 isbn-13: 978-0300187335 [Δ
  
Mautz, Carl, 1997, Biographies of Western Photographers. A Reference Guide to Photographers Working in the 19th Century American West, (Nevada City: Carl Mautz Publishing) [Δ
  
Rosenheim, Jeff L., 2013, Photography and the American Civil War, (Metropolitan Museum of Art) isbn-10: 0300191804 isbn-13: 978-0300191806 [Exhibition catalogue] [Δ
  
Sandweiss, Martha A., 2002, Print the Legend: Photography and the American West, (Yale University Press) [Δ
  
Walther, Susan Danly, 1983, The Landscape Photographs of Alexander Gardner and Andrew Joseph Russell, (Brown University: Doctoral dissertation) [Δ
  
 
  
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
  
Charlton, J., 1997, ‘Westward, the Course of Empire Takes its Way’: Alexander Gardner’s 1867 ‘Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division’ Photographic Series, (KS, Topeka) [Δ
  
Danly, S., 1996, ‘Photography, Railroads and Natural Resources in the Arid West: Photographs by Alexander Gardner and A. J. Russell‘, in M. Castleberry, M. (ed.), 1996, Perpetual Mirage: Photographic Narratives of the Desert West, (New York), pp. 48-55 [Δ
  
Gardner, Alexander, 1869 (ca), Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad (Route of the 35th Parallel) [Δ
  
Gardner, Alexander, 1872, Photographs of Red Cloud and Principal Chiefs of Dacotah Indians Taken on Their Visit to Washington, D.C., May, 1872, (Washington D.C.: for Trustees of Blackmore Museum, Salisbury, England, [Gibson Brothers, Printers]) [Δ
  
Gardner, Alexander, 2003, Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the American Civil War, (New York: Delano Greenidge) [Δ
  
Gardner, Alexander & Bleiler, E.F., 1959, Gardner‘s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, (New York, Dover Publications) isbn-10: 0486227316 isbn-13: 978-0486227313 [Introduction by E.F. Bleiler] [Δ
  
Johnson, Brooks, 1991, An Enduring Interest: The Photographs of Alexander Gardner, (Norfolk, VA: Chrysler Museum) [Δ
  
Katz, D.M., 1991, Witness to an Era: The Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner: The Civil War, Lincoln and the West, (New York: Thomas Nelson) isbn-10: 1558537422 isbn-13: 978-1558537422 [Δ
  
Savas, Theodore P., 2008, Brady's Civil War Journal: Photographing the War, 1861-65, (New York: Skyhorse Publications) isbn-10: 1620870525 [Δ
  
Wilson, Joseph M., 1883, A Eulogy on the Life and Character of Alexander Gardner, (Washington, DC: R. Beresford) [Δ
  
 
  
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - alan@luminous-lint.com
 
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Mathew Brady's Studio
Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) 
1861 (ca)
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
QR code 
  
 
  

Exhibitions on this website

Theme: Portrait
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Ogallalla Sioux (May, 1872) 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
  
Theme: War
ThumbnailGardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War (1866) 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
ThumbnailAmerican Civil War (1861-1865) 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
 
  

Visual indexes

ThumbnailAlexander Gardner and others: Across the continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner and others: Yucca tree, Spanish Bayonet, on the Great Basin, Southern California
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: A Contrast. Federal Buried; Confederate Unburied, Where They Fell on Battle Field of Antietam
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: A Sharpshooter’s Last Sleep
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Confederate Wounded, After the Battle of Antietam, at Smith’s Barn, Dr. A. Hurd, 114 Indiana Volunteers, in Attendance
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Copying Maps, Photographic Headquarters, Petersburg, Virginia
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Execution of the Conspirators
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Indian delegations
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Ogallalla Sioux
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: Ruins of Arsenal, Richmond, Virginia
ThumbnailAlexander Gardner: View of Slaughter Pen at Battle of Gettysburg
ThumbnailGardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War (1866)
 
 
All photographs by this photographer 
  
 

Internet biographies

Terms and Conditions

 
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
 

Internet resources

Terms and Conditions

 
Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War 
http://rmc.library.cornell.edu ... 
An excellent resource by Cornell University Library on an important record of the American Civil War. 
  
The Golden Age of Western Photography - Section One: 1858 -1875 
http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com ... 
Created by the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, USA. 
  
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
  
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.61 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
  
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.221 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Alexander Gardner.] 
  
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.458 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.] 
  
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.148-149 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Gruber, Renate and L. Fritz Gruber 1982 The Imaginary Photo Museum (New York: Harmony Books) p.248 
  
• Naef, Weston 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum - Handbook of the Photographic Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) p.87, 94 
  
• Newhall, Beaumont 1982 The History of Photography - Fifth Edition (London: Secker & Warburg) [One or more photographs by Alexander Gardner are included in this classic history.] 
  
• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.26 [Analyzes a single photograph by Alexander Gardner.] 
  

Collections

Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line. 
  

 
In the 1990 survey of 535 American photographic collections Alexander Gardner was represented in 58 of the collections. Source: Andrew H. Eskind & Greg Drake (eds.) 1990 Index to American Photographic Collections [Second Enlarged Edition] (Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Co.) 
  
Library of Congress, Washington, USA 
  
Approximate number of records: 241 
Note: A single record may contain more than one photograph.
Click here
 
  
 
  
 
  
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