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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Mathew B. Brady

Names:
Other: Brady's Daguerreotype Gallery 
Other: Brady's Gallery 
Other: M.B. Brady 
Other: Mathew Brady 
Other: Matthew B. Brady 
Other: Matthew Brady 
Joint: Mathew Brady's Studio 
Dates:  1823 - 1896, 15 January
Born:  US, NY, Warren County
Died:  US. NY, New York
Active:  US
Gender:  Male
 
  
American photographer best known for portraits of famous contemporary Americans and his photographs of the American Civil War.
His obituary in the New York Times (Jan 19, 1896, p.3) read:
 
Death of MATTHEW B. BRAD [sic]
 
The Famous Photographer of War Times
Succumbs to Misfortunes at the
Presbyterian Hospital
 
Matthew B. Brady, the famous war photographer, died at the Presbyterian Hospital Wednesday night, alone and unnoticed. The hospital books state that he died from Bright's disease, but his death was really due to the misfortunes which have befallen him in recent years. He was seventy-two years old.
 
Matthew Brady has a double claim to remembrance. He was one of the earliest and for many years the leading photographer of this country.
 
When the Prince of Wales visited the United States, in 1860, as a slim and handsome youth of nineteen Mr. Brady photographed him. A copy of this photograph was forwarded two years ago to the Prince who acknowledged the receipt in kindly terms.
 
Bayard Taylor spoke of Mr. Brady in the days before the war as the "court photographer."
 
During the war Mr. Brady engaged a number of photographers who took upward of 30,000 pictures of battle scenes, showing famous battlefields as they appeared before and after some of the greatest conflicts of the war. Nearly every important paper and illustrated magazine published during war times made use of these photographs.
 
He hoped the Government would purchase the complete collection, and, although the War Department took the bulk of them, the photographer was never repaid for the time and money he spent.
 
When he became old and nearly blind, and finally had the additional misfortune to meet with a carriage accident. Mr. Brady became practically dependent on the kindness of his friends.
 
He was a veteran of the Seventh Regiment, and was cared for by members of that organization and the Artist's Fund Society. It was through their efforts that he was admitted to the Presbyterian Hospital.
 
Among those whose photographs Mr. Brady took were Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Benton, the two Van Burens, Lincoln, Seward, Chase, "Dolly" Madison, Mrs. Hamilton, Mrs. Polk and Harriet Lane.

Preparing biographies

HomeContents > Further research

 
  
General reading 
  
Hogge, Dennis, 2011, Mathew Brady's Manassas Photo Journal, (Centreville, VA: Old Dominion Publishers) isbn-10: 0615493435 isbn-13: 978-0615493435 [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
  
Trachtenberg, Alan, 1989, Reading American Photographs: Images as History Matthew Brady to Walker Evans, (New York: Hill and Wang) [Δ
  
Williams, Susan E., 2002, ‘Richmond Again Taken: Reappraising the Brady Legend through Photographs by A. J. Russell‘, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 110, no. 4, pp. 437-460 [Δ
  
 
  
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
  
Andrews, M., 2004, ‘Mathew Brady's Portrait of Dickens: 'a fraud and imposition on the public'?‘, History of Photography, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 375-379 [Δ
  
Britzker, Barry, 2003, Mathew Brady, (JG Press) isbn-10: 1572153423 isbn-13: 978-1572153424 [Δ
  
Cobb, Josephine, 1953-56, ‘Mathew B. Brady's Photographic Gallery in Washington‘, Records of the Columbia Historical Society, pp. 28-69 [Also available as a bound book. (Washington, D.C.: Columbia Historical Society Records), reprint, Vol. 5356] [Δ
  
Gilbert, G., 1993, ‘Brady's Four New York City Galleries, Not Three!‘, Daguerreian Annual, pp. 74-79 [Δ
  
Hobart, G., 1984, Mathew Brady, (London) [Δ
  
Horan, James D., 1955, Mathew Brady: Historian With a Camera, (Bonanza) [Δ
  
Kailbourn, T.R., 1992, ‘"Still Taking Pictures": An Interview with Mathew Brady in April, 1891‘, Daguerreian Annual, pp. 109-117 [Δ
  
Meredith, Roy, 1946, Mr Lincoln's Cameraman, (New York) [Δ
  
Meredith, Roy, 1976, The World of Mathew Brady: Portraits of the Civil War Period, (Brooke House Publishers) isbn-10: 0912588055 isbn-13: 978-0912588056 [Δ
  
Meredith, Roy, 1982, Mathew Brady’s Portrait of an Era, (New York and London: W. W. Norton) [Δ
  
Panzer, M., 1997-1998, Mathew Brady and the Image of History, (Washington, DC, N.P.G; Cambridge, MA, Fogg; New York, Int. Cent. Phot.) [Exhibition catalogue] [Δ
  
Panzer, Mary, 2001, Mathew Brady, (MA, Boston: Phaidon Inc) isbn-10: 0714840653 isbn-13: 978-0714840659 [Δ
  
Savas, Theodore P., 2008, Brady's Civil War Journal: Photographing the War, 1861-65, (New York: Skyhorse Publications) isbn-10: 1620870525 [Δ
  
Sullivan, George, 1994, Mathew Brady: His Life and Photographs, (New York, Cobblehill/Dutton) isbn-10: 0525651861 isbn-13: 978-0525651864 [Δ
  
Wilson, Robert, 2013, Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation - Biography, (Bloomsbury) isbn-10: 1620402033 isbn-13: 978-1620402030 [Δ
  
 
  
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - alan@luminous-lint.com
 
Thumbnail
Sarony
Mathew Brady 
1870 (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

19th century personalities and studios
ThumbnailMathew B. Brady - Brady's Daguerrean Gallery 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
  
Theme: War
ThumbnailAmerican Civil War (1861-1865) 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
  
 
  

Visual indexes

ThumbnailMathew Brady: Camera
 
 
All photographs by this photographer 
  
 

Internet biographies

Terms and Conditions

 
Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
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
The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA has a biography on this photographer. [Scroll down the page on this website as the biography may not be immediately visible.]Show on this siteGo to website
The International Photographers Hall of Fame has provided a biography.Show on this siteGo to website
 

Internet resources

Terms and Conditions

 
Mathew Brady - negatives 
http://www.geh.org ... 
  
Mathew Brady - stereo views 
http://www.geh.org ... 
  
Matthew Brady‘s Portraits 
http://www.npg.si.edu ... 
  
"Still Taking Pictures" An late-in-life interview with Mathew Brady. From The World of 1891. 
http://www.daguerre.org ... 
From The World (New York; 12 April 1891) page 26. An extensively annotated version of this text is published in The Daguerreian Annual 1992, pp. 109-117. 
  
 

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.60 [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.76-77 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Mathew B. Brady.] 
  
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.92-93 [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.242 
  
• Newhall, Beaumont 1982 The History of Photography - Fifth Edition (London: Secker & Warburg) [One or more photographs by Mathew B. Brady are included in this classic history.] 
  

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 Mathew B. Brady was represented in 96 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.) 
  
 

Quotations

The wit and wisdom.

 
"Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers."
 
  
 
  
 
  
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