GARDNER, ALEXANDER [attrib.] (1821-1882) [The newly completed East Front of the Capitol Building],
August 31, 1864. Large-format albumen print on original card mount, image 13 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches (340 x 272 mm) on larger mount, dated in the plate. Toning to the mount and to the image overall; a surface scratch not penetrating the emulsion is visible in the lower left quadrant in raking light. Pencil notations by an early framer to the mount verso, with some offset from an old wood backing. Framed.
The work on the East Front, the main entrance to the Capitol Building, had just been completed at the time of this image. Sawhorses and construction debris are visible in the foreground, while a number of figures, perhaps builders and the architect, stand at the head of the main stairs beneath Thomas Crawford's pediment of The Progress of Civilization. The work on the Capitol Building was an important symbol of the continuity of the United States at a time when the Civil War raged and the states were anything but united. This image appears to be extremely scarce.
Property from an International Corporation.
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