FAMOUS CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES TWO WOMEN MAKING A FASHION STATEMENT IN SNOWY PAINESVILLE, OHIO

This cabinet card features two woman dressed in their winter cloaks and hats. They are in the studio of G. N. Barnard in Painesville, Ohio. The photograph has some special effects in the form of fake falling snow. The factor that makes this photograph most special, is the photographer’s life story. George N. Barnard (1819-1902), was a pioneer of nineteenth century photography. At age 23 he was producing daguerrotypes and four years later he opened his first studio in Oswego, New York. An 1853 grain elevator fire occurred in Oswego, and Barnard captured the fire with his camera. Some historians consider these photographs the first news photography in history. In 1854 he opened a short lived studio in Syracuse, New York. He then moved to New York City where he worked on stereoscopes for Edward Anthony’s Studio in 1859 .Soon, he was hired by Matthew Brady as a portrait photographer and Brady sent him to Washington D.C. to photograph Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration as President of the United States. He later became part of “Brady’s Photographic Corps” to photograph the Civil War. Barnard is best known  for his work in the civil war (1861-1865). He was the official army photographer for the Military Division of the Mississippi, commanded by Union General William T Sherman. Barnard’s book “Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign” is a photographic record of Sherman’s destructive Atlanta Campaign and subsequent March to the Sea. After the war, Barnard opened a studio in Chicago in 1869. The studio was destroyed in the “Great Fire” of 1871. He proceeded to take photographs of the rebuilding of Chicago over the next few years; providing a terrific record of that process. In 1884, Barnard opened his Painesville, Ohio studio; which brings us back to the cabinet card image of the two ladies in the snow.

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