Blincoln Blogs

So many 19th Century photographic subjects clenched up before the camera that their pictures are portraits of resistance, making me appreciate that much more the ones who let something of themselves hang out:

In a move showing that it isn’t completely worthless yet, The New York Times website has a blog post up by, er, Some Guy, about Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Mathew Brady’s studio in May 1861. The resulting photographs may be short on emotional impact but they show Uncle Abe in a variety of poses which, taken together, give such a strong sense of being in the same room with the man that it’s a little unnerving. My favorite pic is like one of those old 3-D baseball cards which shows, depending on how you hold it, either the man whose steely principle would hold the Union together or else the famous joker about to demonstrate “the rocking jollity of laughter”:

Of course the Times, being the Times, believes in the jollity of laughter, too. About this picture

Some Guy has this to say: “He was perhaps reflecting on the great message to the American people that he was in the act of writing, which would be released on July 4. It is impossible to know, precisely, which problem he was thinking about—he had more than his share.” Yeah, that’s great, thanks for typing that. When anyone can plainly see he was thinking “It’s Suntory time…”

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