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Alexander Gardner

Born: Paisley, Scotland, 17 October 1821
Died: Washington, DC, 11 December 1882
Nationality: Scottish-American

apprenticed to a jeweler (1835-43); self-taught


c.1843 – reporter for the Glasgow (Scotland) Sentinel

1851 – meets photographer Mathew Brady at Great (Crystal Palace) Exhibition (London)

1858 – hired as manager of Brady’s Washington, DC gallery

1861 – hired to lead photographic team documenting the Union Army

1862 – leaves Brady’s gallery; appointed Official Photographer for the (Union) Army of the Potomac

1866 – Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War published

1867 – hired as official photographer for the Union Pacific Railroad

1870s – operates portrait studio in Washington, DC


New York (1856); Washington, DC (1858-82); Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri (1867)

Commissions from: 

Union Pacific Railroad; US government


Important Artworks: 

A Harvest of Death, 1863 ( J. Paul Getty Museum , Los Angeles)

Web Resources

Metmuseum: Alexander Gardner