This volume brings together 200 previously unpublished images (28 in full colour) as it examines the earliest photographic process and its effect on the way we view ourselves. For this collection, John Wood selected active images of ordinary Americans living and working: at weddings, river baptisms, band concerts, and political meetings, on farms and in factories. In the eight essays that accompany the images, leading art, photographic, and social historians provide diverse and perceptive readings of the role the daguerreotype played in shaping America's self-image. Editor John Wood addresses the American portrait, David Stannard writes on sex and death in the daguerreotype, Peter Palmquist reviews the role of daguerreotypes in the settlement of the American West, John Stilgoe discusses landscape and daguerreotypes, Dolores Kilgo offers an alternative aesthetic to daguerreotypes, John Graf focuses on the militia as a social institution depicted visually in nineteenth-century America, Brooks Johnson deals with daguerreian images of Americans at work, and Jeanne Verhulst reveals how modern-day artists have revived the daguerreotype.
Arts-Photography, Photography-Video, History,