Download E-books Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century's Most Photographed American PDF

By John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd

A landmark and collectible volume―beautifully produced in duotone―that canonizes Frederick Douglass via historical photography.

Picturing Frederick Douglass is a piece that grants to revolutionize our wisdom of race and images in nineteenth-century the USA. Teeming with ancient aspect, it's full of surprises, leader between them the truth that neither George Custer nor Walt Whitman, and never even Abraham Lincoln, was once the main photographed American of that century. in reality, it used to be Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the ex-slave became prime abolitionist, eloquent orator, and seminal author whose fiery speeches reworked him into essentially the most popular and well known agitators of his age. Now, as a result of groundbreaking study of John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd, and Celeste-Marie Bernier, Douglass emerges as a number one pioneer in images, either as a stately topic and as a prescient theorist who believed within the explosive social strength of what was once then only a nascent paintings form.

Indeed, Frederick Douglass was once in love with images. through the 4 years of Civil warfare, he wrote extra widely at the topic than the other American, even whereas spotting that his audiences have been "riveted" through the battle and sought after a speech in basic terms on "this potent struggle." He frequented photographers’ studios usually and sat for his portrait each time he may possibly. To Douglass, images was once the good "democratic artwork" that might eventually assert black humanity rather than the slave "thing" and whilst counter the blackface minstrelsy caricatures that had come to outline the general public notion of what it intended to be black. for that reason, his legacy is inseparable from his portrait gallery, which includes a hundred and sixty separate photographs.

At final, all of those photos were gathered right into a unmarried quantity, giving us an incomparable visible biography of a guy whose prophetic imaginative and prescient and artistic genius knew no bounds. Chronologically prepared and generously captioned, from the 1st photograph taken in round 1841 to the final in 1895, all the images―many released the following for the 1st time―emphasizes Douglass's evolution as a guy, artist, and chief. additionally incorporated are different representations of Douglass in the course of his lifetime and after―such as work, statues, and satirical cartoons―as good as Douglass’s personal writings on visible aesthetics, that have by no means ahead of been transcribed from his personal handwritten drafts.

The complete creation by way of the authors, in addition to headnotes for every part, an essay by means of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an afterword via Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.―a direct Douglass descendent―provide the definitive exam of Douglass's highbrow, philosophical, and political relationships to aesthetics. Taken jointly, this landmark paintings canonizes Frederick Douglass via a kind he liked the main: photography.


  • Contributions from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (a direct Douglass descendent)
  • 160 separate images of Douglass―many of that have by no means been publicly noticeable and have been lengthy misplaced to history
  • A selection of contemporaneous art that exhibits how strong Douglass’s photographic legacy is still this present day, over a century after his death
  • All Douglass’s formerly unpublished writings and speeches on visible aesthetics

317 illustrations

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Sixty five: Arnold Hurley, Frederick Douglass, 1967, Boston, MA Legacies of Denis Bourdon II (Plate fifty seven) Plate fifty seven Muralists are inclined to use the bearded clever guy of Douglass’s ultimate twenty years while portray for white neighborhoods or whilst putting him along reasonable reform figures. it truly is as if the Douglass of the overdue 1870s and after—the D. C. insider who used to be appointed to roles like U. S. Marshal for the District of Columbia (1877), Recorder of Deeds (1881), and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti (1889)—is the more secure, extra inclusive Douglass; the single with cross-racial charm who belongs in city-sponsored work of art and on downtown partitions. for instance, in David Fichter’s Freedom duvet Mural, painted for the yankee acquaintances carrier Committee construction on Piedmont street in downtown Atlanta, the elder Douglass sits along King and Mahatma Gandhi (the mural’s greatest figures), in addition to Rosa Parks and different icons of non-violent civil disobedience (plate three. 69). In an nameless mural of 2008 on Ralph street in Brooklyn, he's actually a centrist—at the heart of a triptych among Harriet Tubman and an icon of non-violent civil disobedience, Nelson Mandela (plate three. 71). Jameel Parker’s mural Gang Peace of 1992, on Blue Hill road in a black local of Boston, is more odd, in that it places elder statesman Douglass along Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad (plate three. 68). within the different variations of Bourdon’s photo, Cal Massey’s 1971 portrait drawing makes Douglass look benevolent (plate three. 67). Douglass makes a gesture of inclusion in Vinnie Bagwell’s statue at Hofstra college of 2008, which deviates from the picture so as to add this open hand (as good as a sheet of paper in Douglass’s different hand) (plate three. 70). yet different artists choose either types of Douglass, approximately pre–and post–Civil conflict. In 1969 and 1970, a two-part Golden Legacy comedian booklet used the frontispiece to My Bondage and My Freedom (plate nine) for Frederick Douglass: half One; and Bourdon’s cupboard card for half (plate three. 66). Plate three. sixty six; Golden Legacy Illustrated historical past journal, Frederick Douglass, half , 1970 Plate three. sixty seven: Cal Massey, Frederick Douglass, 1971 Plate three. sixty eight: Jameel Parker, Gang Peace, 1992, Boston, MA Plate three. sixty nine: David Fichter, Freedom duvet Mural, 1988, Atlanta, GA Plate three. seventy one: Unknown artist, untitled mural, 2008, manhattan urban Plate three. 70: Vinnie Bagwell, Frederick Douglass Circle, 2008, Hofstra collage half IV Douglass’s Writings on images through the Civil conflict years, Douglass penned 4 lectures on images and “picture-making. ” We comprise 3: first, “Lecture on images” (1861); then “Age of images” (1862) and “Pictures and growth” (1864–65), that have by no means sooner than been released and are between his maximum speeches. In all 4 speeches Douglass connects images and imagine making to abolitionism. “Life photos” (1861), which isn't integrated during this quantity, and “Lecture on photographs” have been his first makes an attempt to strengthen those connections.

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