Artistic pieces from the past and present times impact the community positively in many ways as most of the artistic products produced relays and display information and themes that happen in the society. The broad categories that constitute artistic features such as sculptures, paintings, drawings, photography, music, sketches among others have made it possible for artists to relay and convey the intended messages with ease. Each artistic feature it is noted suits well in conveying certain themes and messages to its audience even though a variety of styles and techniques available can make many artistic products display the same messages and themes. The various messages displayed touch on sociological features and developments that happened in the past, as well as in the present that touch on cultural, historical, political, economic, philosophical and religious issues among others. Art, therefore, has been able to broaden and influence the society to a great extent that has determined the decisions made and taken by the society. Artistic pieces, therefore, have to be designed and made using styles and techniques that make them relay and convey intended messages with ease to the audience and viewers. It helps viewers analyze and interpret meaning displayed with ease besides fulfilling the aesthetic roles that artistic products have. However, this paper analyzes Mathew Brady’s use of photojournalism and documentation that impacted on the American civil war during and after not only to artists, but the entire society and the world at large.
Mathew Brady came into the limelight as a result of incorporating great styles and techniques in photojournalism that later came to impact the society in many ways. Brady produced photographs during the American civil wars that took four years starting from the year 1861 to 1865 as well photographs and portraits of politicians. As the saying goes that, the picture is worth a thousand words, this was replicated from his work and photos that Brady and his team took and this saying also conforms to many artistic works that have been produced both in the ancient and present times. Brady as a leader and manager employed a group of people that he worked with that followed the civil war across the entire nation under his leadership and directions (Nardo, 12). It constituted the great pieces of works that earned him the recognition that he had as well as t brought photojournalism and art in general into a limelight in America and the world at a large. Initially, the industry and field of photojournalism had not received high recognition in the society and many had not focused on the field with high interest and concern. However, after a great display in portrait photography by Brady, photographers earned much respect in the society and the field attracted many people who had realized the potential and opportunities that can result from photography as part of the art. Brady and his team produced more than 10,000 images of the conflict besides having produced more great pieces of prominent people in the society. To produce that great number of pieces that he did displaying one theme and information to the public and viewers of his work. The theme of war, it presented an opportunity for people especially Americans and the world at large an opportunity to experience and view issues that happen in war in real time. Many warfare events and activities are usually restricted, and there is limited photography and recordings of developments in the war, and, therefore, most of the civilian populations lack the real time pictures and scenarios that transpires in battlefield (Tucker, 32). Analysts of Brady work have described the impact that his work had to the people of America and the word at large that his pieces of work brought the gruesome reality of warfare home to the American public. From his great works of prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, to what transpired in the camps and battle field during the civil wars, the role of American photographers as professions that that display history that happened in the past in the present and contemporary times. The business of photojournalism grew and expanded across many places in the world that incorporate other disciplines that touch on culture, politics and other sociological developments in the society. Brady early life and love for art displayed through many activities that he involved himself.
In the year 1844, he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street called “The Daguerrean Miniature Gallery." The technique and style of daguerreotype involved the process of creating a mirror image on a silver-surface copper plate. Brady and Lossing (1977) in their piece Mathew Brady's Illustrated History of the Civil War, 1861-1865: And the Causes That Led Up to the Great Conflict noted that he developed and expanded his skills. As a result expanded his business to include other cities and places such as Washington where he made daguerreotypes of prominent politicians at his times and the past (9). His love for the work that he did and art in general led him to earn many medals and recognitions that further put him into the limelight. He realized the value of photography and developed interests in photography before the civil war began and when it happened it presented him with the best opportunity to display and execute his skills and abilities in photography alongside his team that he had developed. The were a revolutionary of the photography industry in general and it is through photography that propelled him into the public because of the attention that attracted the pieces that he produced during the civil war. It is on record that it was the most covered and the images that experienced more media attention at the time of the war than any other series of images during the rest of the wars. Among the most common and noted pieces that Brady alongside his steam produced include the fist battle of the Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg among others that have influenced and contributed to a great work that they produced along side his team of photographers.
The American civil war fought for four years after states from the south declared succeeding to be part of the entire America nation and union. The number of states that tried to secede totaled to seven and was mostly dominated by slavery. The war divided the country into two factions that came from the north and the south. The main reason noted that led to formation and start of the war was that slavery was to expected to spread to western parts of the country. It got rejected by the southern states that had witnessed the good and bad part of slavery as they were the most affected by slavery (Meredith, 27). There was a mixed view regarding slavery in the United States by then bearing in mind that the world had witnessed great developments in terms of machinery and industrialization that made slavery relevance minimal leading to the abolishment of slavery in some states. There were some states that refused the continuation of slavery totally especially those in the western and northeastern part of the country while only a few permitted slavery in their states. The mixed views, therefore, had a divided the people of America in line with ideological differences concerning slavery and philosophies relating to it. The issue of slavery was only one issue among many injustices and inequalities that transpired in the society. The American society by then had witnessed and experienced many challenges that had made the country vulnerable and divided along many issues that appeared unjust (Nardo, 7). It is one reason as to why the war developed and prolonged for a longer period in the US and the civil war has bee described as the most deadly civil war in the history of America. The republicans opposed the expansion of slavery into the United States and led by President Lincoln.
There were peace deals and initiatives that were offered by they resulted into vain and the two parties and factions prepared themselves for war that had devastating effects to both the northern and southern parts of the country. The level of destruction witnessed from the war that included the number of soldiers including civilians killed in the war was massive. The properties destroyed especially in the southern parts of the country that had planned to secede impacted and changed many issues in the America and the world at large. The lessons learnt before during and after the war have shaped and changed many issues that have made the country and the people of America to be what it appears in the contemporary times. The war led to the abolishment of slave trade and reconstruction of states from the devastating destruction that was witnessed during the war as well as measures that enhanced unity of the people of the United States (Brady & Lossing, 34). The people of America became more unified during the post civil war period and the country became much and stronger and united after the civil war. Many measures were put in place that empowered the people ad brought justice to all including abolishment of the slave trade.
Through Mathew Brady works of photojournalism, the exact and real situation that happened during the war was displayed and offered by his work that contributed greatly to a change in mind and perception regarding the problem that had led to the development of the civil war. Brady’s work was real that it touched many people who saw the photographed images of the civil war as noted in Kaufman (2006) piece titled The Civil War in American Culture (17). They presented the images in real time including showing bodies and blood that those involved in the war underwent. For instance, his piece titled the “The Dead of Antietam” were among the first images captured in the battlefield that showed real dead bodies before they were removed and distributed to the public. Many images presented in a battle filed were captured after various manipulation and restructuring of the scenarios that occur in a war zone denying the public and the audience of such images to get the real experience of what transpires in the battlefield. It was not the case with the work of Brady as it has been described by many who have seen hid photos and work. The impact that his work had to the entire society of American And the world at large made people describe his work as great that brought the terrible reality of war back home at their door –yards and along the streets. They described his work as one that caused bodies from the war into their yards meaning the message had impacted the entire society positively regarding war and the devastating effects that results from war as witnessed during the civil war (Tucker, 4). The attention that the media gave the work of Brady was international that helped reinforced and shaped many other countries and policies in the world. The countries that had experienced challenges relating particular part of their society having the view and feeling of injustices being propelled against them. It reinforced and emphasized the importance of dialogue and negotiation in resolving issues and challenges confronted by countries and the people across many parts of the world because of the positive impact and mind set that changed as a result of Brady’s work that told the story relating to war as it is. Many changes and reforms started in the constitution and amendments, as well that were geared towards enhancing and promoting national unity by eliminating and reducing factors and policies that encouraged division and disunity in the society.
Brady’s work managed to influence and convinces politicians from both sides of the house including those who were advocating for secession that majorly contributed to the war. It is because it was viewed and analyzed to be illegal and unconstitutional to change their minds and their positions regarding the issue of secession and the civil war at large. The reality dawned to the political class and it resulted to leaders changing their minds about position that were majorly seen as the causes of the war such as slavery (Vaughan, 19). Slavery was abolished completely in the United States including states that were practicing it and those that slavery was intended to expand t their territories. It also reinforced and initiated changes in the leadership regarding unjust rules that had placed and categorized the people differently. Formation of the civil society groups is also noted to be on the increase after Brady’s display of his work and many civil organizations and groups emerged to try n advocates against issues that continued to divide the society along many lines such as slavery, race or religions.
The public also moved from the work displayed by Brady that they engaged their political leadership in the transformation in laws through referendums and formulation of laws that enhanced the unity of the people across that many states in the country. Most of the civilians and public community from the states that had advocated for secession. Through the destruction that was achieved both to life and properties across that southern states and the northern ones made the public convince their political leadership to change mind and position regarding the civil war and the many issues that pushed them into war. Through Brady’s work, it influenced greatly to a large degree in a shift in mental positions noted from the war to both parties of the war that resulted into the end of the civil war that the Union side emerged victorious (Kaufman,29 ). Brady’s work and collection regarding the civil war got bought by the United state government because of the great impact that it had relating to the history of America that could define and changed many generations f the American people and the world at large. His work has also shaped many other subjects in the sociological world such as history and art. Many historical events have been described and referenced using Brady’s work and wars of any kind in any country have contributed to the historical analysis and developments of any society. The results of the civil wars swept across the entire country of the US that it impacted many other regions and places that had not realized and experienced war in the past. Those states that were contemplating succeeding had to change their minds and perception by readings and interpreting the impacts that resulted from the civil war and the destruction of both life and property. It was a difficult for leadership of any kind political, economic or social organizations to contemplate a recurrence of civil war in the history of America.
Vaughan (2000) in his work The Everything Civil War Book: Everything You Need to Know About the War That Divided the Nation asserted that the leadership alongside the people were ready to do anything at their disposal to change and avoid a repeat of any war within the country (18). Many people in the leadership positions had to change their minds and philosophies regarding the people participation and inclusions in issues and ideas that touched on the society at a large. Three were states that had not concentrated on the civil war and were concerned only with matters within their territorial borders and they never imagined that the civil war was that devastating and a significant concern to the country and the people of America. It is imperative to not that there is no external country or force that was concerned with the civil war and the international community had not imagined as well the extent that the war would have achieved in terms of devastating impacts and effects. However, after the display presented Mathew Brady that attracted the largest media attention relating to the war and issues relating to it, most the people changed their minds and the realities of the war and what had transpired came to hitting them (Tucker, 17 ). It resulted to a total change of mind in the entire country and the world at large. Brady, therefore, contributed to the Union winning the cold war because of the many developments that occurred immediately and after his presentation. It regarded the real issues that occurred during the war that led to many changes in the history of the United States that transformed the entire world and the country of the United States in general. Art and artistic products are designed to communicate and inform the public and the viewers if the many themes and developments that transpire in the society.
In conclusion, Mathew Brady work revolutionized the photography industry in the United States and across many other societies in the world. Through his work that captured the developments that transpired during the civil war, it told the story as it was. It showed what transpired during the war that led to many developments and changes in the United States that were geared towards empowering the people and the community at large irrespective of the an ethnic and historical backgrounds. The impact that his work had shaped the minds and philosophies of many people regarding wars and this led to many reforms in the America society and the world at large. The work, therefore, conformed to the competencies and requirements that art created for because it not only tells the story as it happened, but also has managed to impact the society positively in many ways through the reforms and changes that transpired after the performance that has influenced the past and present societies positively.
Brady, Mathew B, and Benson J. Lossing. Mathew Brady's Illustrated History of the Civil War, 1861-1865: And the Causes That Led Up to the Great Conflict. New York: Fairfax Press, 1977. Print.
Kaufman, Will. The Civil War in American Culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2006. Print.
Meredith, Roy. Mr. Lincoln's Camera Man, Mathew B. Brady. New York: Dover Publications, 1974. Print.
Nardo, Don. Civil War Witness: Mathew Brady's Photos Reveal the Horrors of War. , 2014. Print.
Tucker, Spencer. American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. , 2013. Internet resource.
Vaughan, Donald. The Everything Civil War Book: Everything You Need to Know About the War That Divided the Nation. Holbrook, Mass: Adams Media, 2000. Print.