World History & Culture

The Photographer and the President: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Gardner, and the Images that Made a Presidency

A new angle on Lincoln and his legacy, exploring the rich and suggestive dialogue between art, image, and politics at the time of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was one of the most photographed figures of his century. Richard Lowry explores Lincoln’s association with Alexander Gardner, the man who would create the most memorable and ultimately iconic images of the president, both in his studio and on the battlefields of the Civil War. Lowry’s book is an accessible and lively narrative of this symbiotic relationship and an examination of the emerging role of the media at a moment of national transformation. Lincoln was an early adopter of photographic technology and visionary in how he used it—as FDR was with radio, JFK with television, and Obama with the internet. By highlighting this very modern aspect of such a storied presidency, Lowry opens a new door on Lincoln’s relationship to politics and celebrity just as the mass culture of the image was taking root in America.

About The Author

Richard Lowry is an award-winning teacher of English and film and media studies at the College of William & Mary. His books include Littery Man: Mark Twain and Modern Authorship, and works on photographers A.J. Russell and Lewis Hine.

  • Publish Date: March 31, 2015
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: History - United States - Civil War Period (1850-1877)
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Ex Libris
  • Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $29.95
  • CDN Price: $29.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4541-5


"That's what The Photographer and the President is — evocative. It's an impressionistic work. [Richard] Lowry isn't out to prove a theory. Instead, he's setting the experiences of Gardner and Lincoln next to each other in the text and noticing common themes and vision." -Chicago Tribune

Author Bookshelf: Richard Lowry