By John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd
A landmark and collectible volume―beautifully produced in duotone―that canonizes Frederick Douglass via old photography.
Picturing Frederick Douglass is a piece that gives you to revolutionize our wisdom of race and images in nineteenth-century the US. Teeming with ancient aspect, it really is choked with surprises, leader between them the truth that neither George Custer nor Walt Whitman, and never even Abraham Lincoln, used to be the main photographed American of that century. in truth, it was once Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the ex-slave became best abolitionist, eloquent orator, and seminal author whose fiery speeches reworked him into some of the most popular and well known agitators of his age. Now, 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 energy of what was once then only a nascent paintings form.
Indeed, Frederick Douglass was once in love with images. throughout the 4 years of Civil conflict, he wrote extra broadly at the topic than the other American, even whereas spotting that his audiences have been "riveted" via the struggle and sought after a speech basically on "this powerful struggle." He frequented photographers’ studios usually and sat for his portrait each time he may. To Douglass, images used to be the good "democratic artwork" that may eventually assert black humanity as opposed to the slave "thing" and while counter the blackface minstrelsy caricatures that had come to outline the general public conception of what it intended to be black. therefore, his legacy is inseparable from his portrait gallery, which includes a hundred and sixty separate photographs.
At final, all of those images were amassed right into a unmarried quantity, giving us an incomparable visible biography of a guy whose prophetic imaginative and prescient and inventive 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 right here 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 entire advent through the authors, in addition to headnotes for every part, an essay through Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an afterword through 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 preferred the main: photography.
- Contributions from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (a direct Douglass descendent)
- 160 separate photos of Douglass―many of that have by no means been publicly obvious and have been lengthy misplaced to history
- A number of contemporaneous art that exhibits how strong Douglass’s photographic legacy continues to be this day, over a century after his death
- All Douglass’s formerly unpublished writings and speeches on visible aesthetics