Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd, based on an original wet collodion glass plate by Mathew Gardner
Taken February 5th, 1865. Gardner's Gallery, Washington D.C, United States (Library of Congress)
The sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born on this day in 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. This portrait by Scottish photographer Alex Gardner was taken on the top floor of Mathew Brady's Washington DC photography gallery and studio on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the natural light was better. In his time, Gardner captured Lincoln's likeness more than any other photographer, and have become the most iconic portraits of Lincoln in his Brooks Brothers’ suit. Gardner himself held an honorary rank of captain during the American Civil War, and was present at a number of engagements to document the battles. Gardner's final set of photographs related to Lincoln where taken in July, 1865, just weeks after the president's assassination, documenting the execution of the Lincoln conspirators.
“[My work] is designed to speak for itself. as mementos of the fearful struggle through which the country has just passed, it is confidently hoped that it will possess an enduring interest.” — Alexander Gardner
Original caption reads,
“[Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, seated and holding his spectacles and a pencil].”