4/27/11

UPCOMING LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING MAY 3: THE WOUNDED CIVIL WAR SOLDIER

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING TUESDAY, MAY 3, 6 P.M.
OPENING EXHIBITION RECEPTION TO FOLLOW AT 7 PM


THE WOUNDED CIVIL WAR SOLDIER:
PHOTOGRAPHS BY R.B. BONTECOU FROM THE BURNS COLLECTION

**Please RSVP Space is limited, particularly for the 6 pm reading
RSVP TO education@merchantshouse.org or 212-777-1089

The Merchant’s House Museum
29 East Fourth Street (Between Lafayette and Bowery), New York, NY 10003


Dr. Burns will show, for the first time, exclusive images from the private photo albums of Reed Brockway Bontecou, MD. A significant new chapter in Civil War history is revealed with this first Exposé of the wartime clinical photographs of Dr. Bontecou. Michael Rhode, Chief Archivist, Otis Historical Archives has noted “Dr. Burns has done the medical and photographic history communities a great service by rescuing and making these images available....”


The Burns Collection houses Dr. Bontecou’s four original Civil War albums as well as medical equipment and ephemera relating to his personal life. Bontecou’s carte de visite album is the premier medical photograph album of the Civil War. No other large compilation of wartime clinical images exists, with over 570 images. Almost all the photos were taken during the war or immediately after in the spring of 1865. The public and the historical community have never before seen most of these images.


Advanced copies of Shooting Soldiers: Civil War Medical Photography By R.B. Bontecou will be available at the lecture for $50.


This lecture is in conjunction with the The Merchant’s House Museum exhibition 
New York’s Civil War Soldiers – Photographs of Dr. R. B. Bontecou, Words of Walt Whitman
Exhibition runs through Monday, August 1, 2011

4/18/11

Sleeping Beauties: Memorial Photographs from the Burns Archive- Lecture and Installation Views


APRIL 14- MAY 31 2011- 
Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery


The Burns Archive is pleased to announce that the installation, reception and lecture for our Baltimore postmortem exhibit was a great success. Special thanks goes to Tom Beck, Chief Curator of the Albin O. Kuhn Gallery and his staff. Stay in touch, we will be posting a video of the lecture soon.


With over 300 linear feet of paper images and 6 cases containing ambrotypes, tintypes, daguerreotypes and more- it is the largest postmortem photography exhibit to date. 




For as much as people of the 21st century avoid the subjects of death and postmortem photography, those of the 19th century embraced it. The living were depicted with their deceased loved ones with whom they were often not portrayed previously. The personal nature of postmortem imagery frequently makes it difficult for us to view memorial images from the past much less from our own time. This exhibition will survey memorial photography from the 19th through 21st centuries and show how the artistic efforts of the photographers contributed to the emotional qualities of the images. The imagery connects us across the generations to those who would have died unnoticed had they not been given by photographic means a kind of immortality.



Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery . University of Maryland, Baltimore County . 1000 Hilltop Circle . Baltimore MD 21250


Dr. Stanley Burns
Installation View, First Room
Postmortem Photo-Montage Images (Spirit Photo on Far Right)
Postmortem Images with Family
Contemporary Images by Todd Hochberg
Mourning Dress
One of Six Cases

Coffin Plates
First Case With Daguerreotypes & Ambrotypes of Children
Second Case With Daguerreotypes & Ambrotypes of Children
Dr. Burns Lecturing about His Postmortem Collection
Reception Following the Lecture
Dr. Burns With Tom Beck (Chief Curator)
More images from the exhibition below
CLICK BELOW TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION OF THE SLIDESHOW
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WNYC NEWS: THE BURNS ARCHIVE CIVIL WAR EXHIBITION


Merchant's House to Display Photos of New York Civil War Regiment Soldiers




Wednesday, April 13, 2011



On April 13, 1861, the U.S. Army garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina surrendered to Confederate troops. Two days later, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 militiamen to pick up their rifles and squelch the southern rebellion. The American Civil War was on.  
In honor of the soldiers who put their lives on the line in the ensuing four years of war, the Merchant's House Museum in Manhattan is presenting a series of photographs of wounded Civil War soldiers who served in New York regiments. The exhibit marks the first time any of the photographs will be displayed to the public in the 150 years since the war.  
Military historian and Civil War reenactor Robert Mulligan, who is from Albany, said the New York battalions included some notable troops.  
"One was in the box with Lincoln when Lincoln was shot, and another was the first union officer killed in the war, Elmer Ellsworth," he said.  
Each photograph at the Merchant's House Museum exhibit was taken by Reed Brockway Bontecou, who was the surgeon in charge of Washington, D.C.'s Harewood U.S. Army General Hospital. When the war ended, the photographs became the largest part of the government’s war medical photograph collection.  
Mulligan has for years played the roles of Corporal James Tamer of the 86th New York Infantry and Sargent Rice C. Bull of the 103rd New York Infantry. Bull was injured in battle and Tamer lost both of his feet, but Mulligan doubted that either of the men passed through Bontecou's hospital.  
"It was a hub of medical treatment, but I'd be surprised to find their photographs," he said. "There were just too many injured soldiers."  
In 1975, a New York City ophthalmologist who had taken an interest to collecting historical photographs, Stanley B. Burns, acquired the photographs from the Bontecou family. He soon established the distinguished Burns Collection, which has since become the nation’s largest private comprehensive collection of early medical photography.  
Dr. Burns has published two (of three) volumes of the Bontecou photographs. The most recent one, "Shooting Soldiers: The Civil War Medical Photography of Reed Bontecou," will be released on Thursday to coincide with the opening of the Merchant's House exhibition.   
At the exhibit, more then 100 graphic photographs of human disfigurement will be accompanied by passages from Walt Whitman's "Specimen Days,"  a memoir of his horrific experiences as a volunteer nurse. Along with other images and memorabilia of the time, the words tell the real story of the Civil War that Whitman said would "never get into the books."


To see the article on the WNYC website and view the slide show click HERE 

4/11/11

MEMORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY LECTURE THIS WEEK: APRIL 14 Dr. Burns Speaks at the Albin O. Kuhn Gallery, UMBC, Baltimore.

Thursday, April 14, 2011, 4 p.m
Dr. Stanley Burns, author of three books on memorial photographs, will speak on "Photographing the Dead: A Process of Love, Remembrance and Grieving" in what is sure to be a fascinating lecture. 

A reception with light refreshments will follow the lecture.
This event is open to the public and admission is free.

The lecture is in conjunction with the exhibition:

Sleeping Beauties
Memorial Photographs from the Burns Archive
April 11 – May 31, 2011

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery Press Release:
For as much as people of the 21st century avoid the subjects of death and postmortem photography, those of the 19th century embraced it. The living were depicted with their deceased loved ones with whom they were often not portrayed previously. The personal nature of postmortem imagery frequently makes it difficult for us to view memorial images from the past much less from our own time. This exhibition will survey memorial photography from the 19th through 21st centuries and show how the artistic efforts of the photographers contributed to the emotional qualities of the images. The imagery connects us across the generations to those who would have died unnoticed had they not been given by photographic means a kind of immortality.

Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery . University of Maryland, Baltimore County . 1000 Hilltop Circle . Baltimore MD 21250

4/5/11

Exhibition and Book Signing: Romancing The Bug


Stanley Burns and Alice Lease Dana

EXHIBITION PREVIEW:

We are Pleased to Announce The Exhibition and Book Signing

ROMANCING THE BUG
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALICE LEASE DANA
EXHIBITION APRIL 3-23, 2011

RECEPTION AND BOOK SIGNING
FRIDAY APRIL 8, 2011   6PM – 8PM

THE NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003

Romancing the Bug is an exhibition of photographs presented in contemporary and antique frames. Alice Dana’s flower and insect photographs are fresh and colorful images of one of the most basic natural processes for the maintenance of life on earth. With the  delight of new discoveries Dana captured these relationships with an appreciation for the beauty of the forces and harmony of nature. The actions displayed are often fleeting, and certainly intense, for each insect as it interacts with a flower, goes about its business swiftly and then departs. These photographs offer a revealing look at the propagation of life. Insects- loathed creatures to most of us- become beautiful partners in our love of the planet.


Order Romancing the Bug  from
BURNS ARCHIVE PRESS • $25.00
140 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016
212.889.1938

A Slideshow of Images from Romancing the Bug: