Mathew B. Brady (1822 – 1896) was one of the most famous American photographers. He was known for his portraits of celebrities and his documentation of the American Civil War. He is credited with being the father of photojournalism.
Brady employed a team of assistants who traveled the country to capture the war. They produced more than 10,000 images of the conflict, and brought the gruesome realities of warfare home to the American public. (See “photography shop on right) When people discourage him, citing battlefield dangers and financial risks, but Brady persisted. He later said, “I had to go. A spirit in my feet said ‘Go,’ and I went.” In 1862, Brady shocked America by displaying his photographs of battlefield corpses from Antietam, posting a sign on the door of his New York gallery that read, “The Dead of Antietam.” This exhibition marked the first time most people witnessed the carnage of war. The New York Times said that Brady had brought “home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war.”
After the Civil War, Brady went bankrupt. He sold his entire collection to Congress for $25,000. He died penniless. (Pic credit: Library of Congress)
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