Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review Photography Exhibits #2

Exhibition: One Life. The Mask of Lincoln
- Alexander Gardner
- Anthony Berger
- Thomas Le Mere
- George B. Ayres
- Lewis E. Walker
- William Judkins Thomson
- George Clark
Location: National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian Institution
Date: Jun 13, 2009

I’m not a big fan of portrait exhibition, but I knew what I want to see at first sight among other candidates while I am waiting two hours to open. It was once in my lifetime experience to me. Experience of various sizes and shape of B&W photographs, drawings, and mask treasured in my heart.
Every single one was great to see, but there are several portraits if I have to pick a few particularly.
"The Penny Image" by Anthony Berger, 1864, was used for the new penny coin design in 1909. I wondered how the penny looked like before 1909.
"The Short and Simple Annals of the Poor" by George Clark, 1860, seemed to me the most young-looking portrait with copper frame of small oval shape.
"If I Had Another Face..." by Lewis E. Walker, 1865, looked quite different because of hair cut. There was quit funny comment, “Lincoln always complained that his hair was uncontrollable, and in this picture he seems to have solved the problem by getting a crew cut.”
The only one thing I missed was that the original “cracked plate” portrait by Alexander Gardner was replaced after Feb 16, 2009 in order to protect from further exposure to light. I wish I had a chance to see the original. It was impressive when I saw his face in close. He looked lean, sad, and exhausted after four years of war. I never forget a slight smile on his face.

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