The photographic portrait is no longer linked to milestones like graduation ceremonies and weddings, or exceptional moments such as vacations, parties or even crimes. Photography has become part of a daily, if not minute-by-minute, staging of the self. Portraits appear to have been eclipsed by self-portraits: tweeted, posted, shared.
Lincoln at Gettysburg
In November 1863, four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln came to Gettysburg to dedicate the national cemetery for the Union dead. In his remarks, he paid tribute to the brave men who died there and insisted that their sacrifice would increase the will of the people to fulfill America’s promise. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a rhetorical masterpiece delivered in less than three minutes, defined the war as necessary for the survival of the nation and its ideals.
This rare photo from a glass plate negative by Matthew Brady is the first–and possibly only–photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg.