“American Progress” and Manifest Destiny

American Progress (John Gast, 1871) visualizes the 19th century idea of Manifest Destiny. Columbia, symbolic of the United States, is seen traveling west, dressed like a Greek goddess. Ahead of her tramp white hunters and settlers, and behind her railroads appear out of thin air. On the far left an ominous dark cloud recedes, bringingContinue reading ““American Progress” and Manifest Destiny”

The First Photo of a Japanese Emperor

In 1873, pioneering photographer Uchida Kuichi took the first photograph of a Japanese emperor. In his portrait of the Emperor Meiji, seen here, the emperor is staged in a way typical to U.S. and European photographic portraits of the time. The subject is seated diagonally in a chair, with some personal paraphernalia placed on aContinue reading “The First Photo of a Japanese Emperor”