I have been off this week and am trying to write 5000 word on my book project. I came across this photograph taken at the 1864 Metropolitan Sanitary Fair and thought I would share it before I sit down for my first wave of writing. I popped a jazz cd into the record player. I find I usually can’t write when music with vocals is playing. Today is Wednesday and thus getaway day for Major League Baseball; so there will be baseball on the radio here in a few hours.

The photograph above comes from a small work, what amounts to a scrapbook, that Matthew Brady published in small quantity in 1864 called Recollections of the Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Fair, New York. Many of the leading artists of the day may various various contributions to the April 1864 Metropolitan Fair, either putting works up for sale or on display where patrons who paid the fundraising entrance fee could see them. It was at the 1864 New York sanitary fair that New Yorkers saw Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” What I am trying to do in my book make New York City a more central aspect of the American Civil War.

Unfortunately the artists listed here are not annotated. The one we do know for certain is Brady seated in the center. It was his studio’s photographs after the battle of Antietam, which were shown in his New York studio shortly after the engagement, that brought the war “home” to most New Yorkers, who lined up to see them in fall 1862.

(image/Library of Congress)