Gardner's Gallery, 7th and D Streets, Washington, D.C.
Alexander Gardner (American, Glasgow, Scotland 1821–1882 Washington, D.C.)
Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
2 15/16 x 4 1/8
Gilman Collection, Museum Purchase, 2005
Not on view
The tremendous changes underway in the medium of photography in the early 1860s are documented in the wealth of advertising covering the two façades of the Washington, D.C., gallery of Alexander Gardner. In autumn 1862 Gardner left his employer Mathew B. Brady to start his own portrait gallery. This view of Gardner’s corner business at 7th and D streets shows a four-story building festooned with signs for virtually every type of image available at the time except the tintype: cartes de visite, stereographs, album cards, Imperial photographs (plain, colored, and retouched), ambrotypes, hallotypes, and ivorytypes. The largest sign reads "Views of the War." If Brady had perhaps conceived the grand idea of an epic documentation of the Civil War, it was Gardner who actually executed it, both before and after the two gallerists separated.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on print, verso TC: "On 7th St Washington // 1864"
(sold, Christie's New York, Lot 47, November 8, 1983); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York