In the 1850s, the vast majority of American photographs were portrait daguerreotypes (one-of-a-kind photographs on silver-plated sheets of copper.) Paper photography, already widely used in Europe by mid-decade, was slow to catch on here, and portraiture remained the dominant subject. These views of Nashville and Lexington—among the earliest photographs of either city—are rare depictions of urban life before the Civil War outside the long-established cities of the East Coast.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
American
Title
[Nashville, Tennessee: Market Street Scene of Courthouse Square]
Date
c. 1856
Medium
Salted paper print from glass negative
Dimensions
Image (oval): 6 5/8 × 8 5/8 in. (16.8 × 21.9 cm) Sheet (oval): 6 5/8 × 8 5/8 in. (16.8 × 21.9 cm) Mat: 14 × 17 in. (35.6 × 43.2 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of Alex Novak in honor of Anne Wilkes Tucker on the occasion of her retirement

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2015.217
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

Col. John R. Johnston album, compiled mid-to-late 1850s; [Vintage Works, Ltd., Chalfont, Pennsylvania]; given to MFAH, 2015.