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Good. 0486238415 Developed in France during the 1830's by Louis J. M. Daguerre, the daguerreotype was the first commercially feasible photographic process. The factual and precise details of the images, finely delineated on a highly polished sheet of silver-plated copper, rendered the process an immediate success as a mode of visual communication. It was particularly successful in 19th-century America, where the factual aspects of material reality were considered the key to greater meanings. But in order to transcend mere replication of visible phenomena, the photographer had to share the intellectual and moral qualities cf the artist, i.e. the ability to interpret and express the internal reality of the subject--the "spirit of fact that transcends mere appearance." Among those who succeeded in elevating photography to the level of art were Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes, owners of the most prestigious portrait studio in America from 1843 to 1862. They produced an enormous body of daguerreotype portraits, as well as landscapes, domestic scenes, art reproductions and marine views. Renowned for their expressive interpretations, clarity of depiction and perfectionism, Southworth and Hawes photographed the full spectrum of 19th-century American culture: writers, statesmen, scientists, musicians, actors and actresses. Among the celebrated personages whose portraits embellish this volume are: Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Zachary Taylor, Jenny Lind, Charles Goodyear and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Nor were celebrities the only ones who came to their Boston studio to pose. Included here are many revealing portraits of ordinary men, women and children that epitomize the art of capturing beauty, expression and character on film. In addition to their fine portrait work, this stunning volume includes a variety of landscapes and views that also won widespread acclaim for technical mastery and aesthetic worth: studies of militiamen assembled on Boston Common, ships and shipyards, NiagaraFalls in winter, cemetery sculpture, and a reenactment of the first public operation with ether at Massachusetts General Hospital. These pictures are at once "documents of appearance and distillations of meaning." Indeed, it is the viewer's overwhelming sense of connection with the people and events of the past that gives these photographs much of their striking visual impact. The present collection, distilled from roughly 1500 extant Southworth and Hawes daguerreotypes, contains 107 of their finest photographs, shot from original prints and carefully reproduced on high-quality glossy stock. Robert Sobieszek, Associate Curator of the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, N.Y., and Odette Appel, Research Assistant, have provided an informative introduction as well as perceptive commentary on the background and aesthetic attributes of each photograph. Unabridged corrected republication (1979) of the original (1976) edition, titled The Spirit of Fact, David Godine/George Eastman House, Boston. 107 illustrations. Captions, with extensive annotations. Two appendices. Notes. Bibliography, xxi + 115pp.
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