America and the Daguerreotype

John Wood, Editor University of Iowa Press $69.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-87745-334-5
With superbly annotated illustrations and interpretive essays by seven contributors, Wood ( The Daguerrotype: A Sesquicentennial Celebration ) commemorates the love affair between the America of the 1840s and '50s and the brand-new image-on-metal photographic process of French inventor Louis Daguerre. While many early daguerrotypes have been lost, Wood has gathered the work of professionals in studios (1000 in New York City by 1855) and countless others. Included are portraits of famous Americans, sentimental studies of children and shots of a lively and confident people busy on farms and in factories, at weddings, river baptisms, band concerts and patriotic parades. Contributor David Stannard comments on the era's preoccupation with morality and death, Peter Palmquis examines the daguerrotypes' role in ``selling'' the American West and Jeanne Verhulst tells how present-day artists have revived the daguerrotype in the modern idiom. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-87745-675-9
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