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Author
Title The Absence That Is Present: Civil War Photography. 1862-2015
URL
Publication Date
Degree MA
Discipline/Department Art/Art History
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher Bowling Green State University
Abstract In 1862, Alexander Gardner captured some of the best-known photographs of the Civil War at Antietam. Since then his photographs have been part of a varied history cycling from open publicity to obscurity and back again. In recent years, photographers have turned to Gardner’s photographs for inspiration when creating new photographs of the Civil War: rephotography. David Levene and Sally Mann are two examples that approach rephotography from different directions. Levene and Mann go to Antietam to photograph what the war left behind. The content of the photographs was analyzed to see what was present and what was not. The artists’ intent was taken into consideration where possible. The photographs represent the Civil War through what is absent, through what is missing. Gardner’s photographs depict the aftermath of the battle; Levene’s highlight what is there no longer; Mann’s explore the spectral traces that remain. They each commemorate Antietam while making September 17, 1862 more real for modern viewers.
Subjects/Keywords American History; Art History; Fine Arts; Alexander Gardner; Sally Mann; David Levene; photography; rephotographs; Civil War; Civil War photography; Antietam; absence; photographs; Civil War photographs; rephotography; Civil War rephotography; Civil War rephotographs
Contributors Hershberger, Andrew (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:bgsu1491567573460185
Repository ohiolink
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2017-05-02
Grantor Bowling Green State University

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…engagement with sites of historic interest through photography. Photographers such as Sally Mann, David Levene, and others return to battlefields like Antietam to create modern views of historic photographs of the Civil War and to create new photographs of…

…photographs of Antietam, and in David Levene and Sally Mann’s rephotographs of those same fields in the 2000s. It considers the significance of absence, a quality that is especially important in Levene and Mann’s rephotographs because of the temporal gaps they…

…chapter of this paper will examine Gardner and the photographs that he captured during the Civil War at Antietam. The history of Gardner’s indelible images will be charted through their loss after the war and then through their rediscovery. While Gardner’s…

…photographs function as a body of work, they will not be dealt with in their entirety. Rather, this chapter will focus on the photographs that Gardner and his team captured after the sanguinary and gruesome battle of Antietam. The battle was over and burial…

…squads had begun their work by the time Gardner arrived on the scene in 1862. Due to this delay and to the technological restrictions of the time period, he was unable to capture scenes of the raging battle itself. As a result, he chose to pay attention…

…to the scenes of fallen soldiers. As these scenes of human wreckage were Gardner’s focus, this paper will deal primarily with those photographs and the absences therein. The second chapter delves into the realm of David Levene's rephotography—the…

…Antietam and to other sites of Civil War-era photographs to take modern versions of the historic photographs, and to retrace the exact steps of Gardner, and of Timothy O’Sullivan (one of Gardner’s colleagues and later one of his employees), and…

…others. Levene seeks to stand where they stood and to capture the same scenes that they captured. The final form of many of Levene’s photographs are combinations; Gardner 10 Jacques Derrida, Différance. Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (…

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