Art as Image: Prints and Promotion in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Curious Case of the Hydra-Headed Stones
Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co.'s Civil War Portraits

Christopher W. Lane, Co-Owner
The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.
Abstract: In the midst of the Civil War, the Cincinnati lithographic publishing firm of Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. produced a series of over 70 portraits of federal and state government officials and Union military and naval officers.  These lithographs feature full figured images of political and military individuals in a setting appropriate to their profession.  These prints are of particular interest because the facial portrait of each of the prints was based on a life photograph, yet portraits of different individuals share the same bodies and the same background images.  This use of common backgrounds for portraits of different individuals is especially interesting for these Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. prints because in some cases the prints were issued bound together into portfolios where this repetition of background is glaringly obvious.  A study of the nature of these prints and these portfolios, along with a consideration of the context in which they were issued, helps shed light on print publishing and on the interests and expectations of the print buying public in mid-nineteenth century America.
Fig. 4.1 Hon. William H. Seward. / Secretary of State. view image
Fig. 4.2 August Willich / Brig. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.3 Commodore Farragut / U.S. Navy. view image
Fig. 4.4 Majr. Genl. William S. Rosecrans. / at the Battle of Murfreesboro [sic] Jany. 2nd. 1863. view image
Fig. 4.5 Ulysses S. Grant / Maj. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.6 U.S. Grant / Maj. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.7 A. Lincoln. / President of the U.S. view image
Fig. 4.8 John Brough. / Governor of Ohio. view image
Fig. 4.9 Andy Johnson. / Military Gov. of Tenn. view image
Fig. 4.10 [Andrew Johnson, 1808-1875] view image
Fig. 4.11 The Storming of Fort Donelson Tenn. Feby. 15th 1862. view image
Fig. 4.12 The Champions of the Union. view image
Fig. 4.13 The Champions of the Union. view image
Fig. 4.14 John E. Wool. / Maj. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.15 O. M. Mitchell [sic] / Brig. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.16 W. Y. L. Wallace / Brig. Genl. U.S.A. view image
Fig. 4.17 Geo. B. McClellan. / Maj. Genl. U.S.A. / and Staff. view image
Fig. 4.18 Lovell H. Rousseau. / Maj. Genl. U.S.A. view image

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