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Collecting the American Civil War

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Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 1

George N. Barnard (American, 1819–1902)

Date:
1864
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 25.5 x 35.5 cm (10 1/16 x 14 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired by exchange with the Library of Congress
  • Description

    On September 1, 1864, the Confederates abandoned Atlanta, and Barnard headed to the evacuated city with his camera to explore its elaborative defenses. Barnard presents nine views of the destruction of Atlanta—half made during the war, half in 1866. Collectively, the series remains among the most celebrated by any nineteenth-century American photographer. This view is one of the most frequently cited and reproduced of all Barnard’s war photographs. The subject is an abandoned Confederate fort with rows of chevaux-de-frise running through the landscape. As he did in one-third of the photographs in Sherman’s Campaign, Barnard used two negatives to produce the print: one for the landscape, one for the sky. The powerful effect seems to have inspired the set designers of many Civil War motion pictures, from Gone with the Wind (1939) to the present.

  • Notes

    Plate 39 in Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866

302617

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