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Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. collected most every kind of art object—except photography. The Chrysler Museum of Art’s photography collection is primarily the result of collecting activity since 1978. Since those humble beginnings, the Chrysler now possesses a substantial collection of more than 4,000 photographic objects from 19th-century daguerreotypes to contemporary digital and installation works.

Lincoln and Tad, Washington, D.C.

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Alexander Gardner
American (b. Scotland, 1821–1882)
Lincoln and Tad, Washington, D.C., February 5, 1865
Albumen print

Alexander Gardner is one of the most important early chroniclers of American history. From 1861 to 1862, he worked under acclaimed photographer Mathew Brady to visually record the U.S. Civil War. Their work comprised the very first photographic documentation of war. Gardner photographed Abraham Lincoln at least thirty-seven times, more than twice as often as any other photographer. This image of Lincoln with his fourth child, Thomas, who was known as Tad, was made at Lincoln's last formal portrait sitting.