W.M. Belknap, Secretary of War

Accession Number

W.M. Belknap, Secretary of War


Object Creation Date
circa 1869-1876

Medium & Support
albumen print on paper

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson

Subject matter
In this photograph, the head and shoulders of United States Secretary of War William M. Belknap hover amid a blank white field. The secretary's torso faces out directly toward the viewer, though his face is turned toward the right allowing for a greater view of his voluminous pointed beard and wavy hair. The sitter wears a fairly simple, dark suit with a white shirt, and very little information in the image conveys his status as a prominent American politician. Here he poses for the photographer Mathew Brady, whose studios in New York City and Washington, D.C. were well-known for their portraits of high-profile public figures.  

Physical Description
Bust-length portrait of bearded man in a suit floating amid a blank background. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
secretaries (public officers)

3 Related Resources

Photographic Portraiture in the 19th Century
(Part of: Identity and Self-Understanding)
U.S. Civil War
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
U.S. Wars
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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