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Title The Absence That Is Present: Civil War Photography. 1862-2015
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 Indexed 2020-10-19
Grantor Bowling Green State University

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…Mann and Levene’s rephotography of Antietam continues the commemoration and memorialization of fallen soldiers through their absence. The photographs are gravestones, the markers of absence—of events and people who are no longer present. Monegal writes…

…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…

…act of returning to a site with the explicit intention of recreating, to some extent, previously captured scenes. This chapter will also consider rephotography as a whole and why some artists choose to rephotograph the Civil War. Levene travels to…