William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant (1794‒1878) was an American poet and journalist. Born in western Massachusetts of New England Puritan stock, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for a short time before achieving literary fame with the publication in 1817 of “Thanatopsis,” his best known poem. Bryant’s poems of nature, in which he found moral lessons in the natural beauties of the local landscape, earned him the appellation the “American Wordsworth,” after the English poet William Wordsworth (1770‒1850). He also worked as a journalist, editing The New York Evening Post from 1829 until 1878. He helped to found the Republican Party and championed the abolition of slavery. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.
Edward Anthony, New York
Type of Item
1 photographic print : carte-de-visite, albumen paper ; 8.6 x 5.5 centimeters
Last updated: January 8, 2018