Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Scourged Back: Photography and the American Civil War.

In March or April of 1863, the slave above escaped from a Mississippi plantation to a camp of Federal officers. Medical officers examined the slave and noticing the severe scarring on the slave's back asked a local photographer to document the scar tissue. The image, according to this New York Times story, eventually appeared in a special Independence Day issue of Harper’s Weekly. The image is now part of a Civil war exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, called “Photography and the American Civil War. Here (and below) is the story about the exhibit.  Thanks to Open Culture for the link to this story.

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