Hidden Witness: African-American Images from the Dawn of Photography to the Civil War

4.41 avg rating
( 37 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312267476: Hidden Witness: African-American Images from the Dawn of Photography to the Civil War
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

As slaves, African-Americans were virtually invisible in American history. Although photography was introduced to this country in l840, precious few images of African-Americans survive today. Even after the Civil War there were not many African-American photographers, and very few black people had the time, money or freedom for a portrait sitting. Consequently, little photographic evidence remains to bear witness to the lives of four and a half million Americans of African descent.

Jackie Napolean Wilson, whose own grandfather was born a slave in South Carolina between l853 and l855, has assembled the most comprehensive and significant collection of such images ever brought together in one place. The concrete reality reflected in daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes presents these men and women in situations and attire that bring the truth of their daily lives much closer to us. Such scenes of maternal affection, matrimony, friendship, war and the grim reality of the master/slave relationship help focus our perception of the African-American experience in America in ways not otherwise available to the modern reader. Among these images is the only picture of Abraham Lincoln in the company of an African-American and the earliest known daguerreotype of Frederick Douglass (circa 1843).

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The image is striking: A woman gazes serenely at the camera, baby cradled in her arms in classic Madonna-and-child pose. More striking is the fact that the sitters are black, and the photograph dates from 1860. Few photographs from the mid-19th century feature African Americans, enslaved or free. Those that do are often staged and reflect the biases of the photographer or the printmaker who published them. Others, however, provide glimpses of daily life before the abolition of slavery.

Renowned collector of early photographs Jackie Napolean Wilson has compiled 70 such images in Hidden Witness. Each photograph--whether an outdoor scene, where slaves are afterthoughts in the frame, so-called Mammy portraits of slaves holding white children, studio portraits of proud freemen and women--is accompanied by a brief explanation, contextualizing the image and speculating on the nature of the pictured relationships. Some of the subjects are famous, such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass; others, though unknowns, carry a force of their own: the exuberant grin of the prizewinning boxer, the proud stance of a Union soldier, the quiet dignity of a slave nurse. A handsome addition to the history of African Americans and photography. --Sunny Delaney

About the Author:

Jackie Napolean Wilson is an attorney and historian who has been collecting since 1978. He was guest curator of the historic Hidden Witness exhibition at The J. Paul Getty Museum. This book is based on that Exhibition. Mr. Wilson lives in Detroit.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 16.95
US$ 340.26

Convert currency

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312245467: Hidden Witness: African American Images from the Dawn of Photography to the Civil War

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0312245467 ISBN 13:  9780312245467
Publisher: St Martins Pr, 2000
Hardcover

9780670873722: Hidden Witness

Michae..., 1999
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jackie Napolean Wilson
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2002)
ISBN 10: 0312267479 ISBN 13: 9780312267476
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0312267479

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 340.26
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds