Untitled [Appomattox #26]
2001, printed 2003 Sally Mann Born: Lexington, Virginia 1951 gelatin silver print sheet and image: 48 1/2 x 38 1/2 in. (123.2 x 97.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Daniel Sallick and Elizabeth Miller © 1998, Sally Mann 2012.42 Not currently on view
Untitled [Appomattox #26] is an elegy to the hundreds of lives lost at Appomattox, one of the final battles of the American Civil War. Sally Mann spent two years traveling to battlefields across Maryland and Virginia, focusing on land where the deadliest combat took place. By using the wet-plate collodion process to make her negatives, Mann transports the viewer back to the Civil War era when the process was first used. She developed the photographs from the back of her pick-up, allowing dust and other particles into the developing liquid. This technique produced a scarred, hazy effect that lends an antique finish to the photograph. Mann was born in a Lexington home formerly owned by famed Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. This personal connection to the war informs her work from this series, known as Last Measure, which meditates on painful war memories that still pervade the South.
A Democracy of Images: Photographs of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013
photography - photoprint