Salted paper print from wet collodion negative
Image: 47 x 39.4 cm (18 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.); Matted: 66 x 55.9 cm (26 x 22 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1987.220
A popular author, legislator, and general in the New York State militia, Wetmore, here at age 59, still resembles Edgar Allen Poe’s description of him from a decade earlier: “about five feet eight in height, slender, neat; with an air of military compactness.” Brady’s portrait studio, with branches in New York and Washington, DC, was the most important of its era in America, thanks in part to its success in photographing political, social, and cultural figures. These early celebrity portraits, such as those of the wedding of performer Tom Thumb (seen in the center of the gallery), could sell thousands of copies. Brady is now best known for images of the Civil War, most taken by photographers he hired.
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