Saturday, November 08, 2014

Alexander Gardner vs Lewis Powell/Payne/Paine

More goodness from the Library of Congress. 

Most would be familiar with the first image made of Lewis Powell - then 21 - by Alexander Gardner. This iconic work is cited by many theorists as being emblematic of many photographic themes. 

Both Barthes and Sontag discuss the image at length. Lesser known are other images made - also by Alexander - of Powell and other conspirators. 

These images add an interesting twist and energy to the rather static, resigned-to-his-fate central image. The larrakin-like profile shot is particularly interesting.

There are also a series of fashion-like images in front of a tent. Some of these were then cropped and made into folk postcards.

Finally, the hanging itself was also photographed, including the aftermath.

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