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Past Exhibitions

Soldier Portraits: Contemporary Wet Plate Photographs By Ellen Susan

July 9 - October 30, 2011

Third Floor Galleries

Photographer Ellen Susan uses wet plate collodion photography to create captivating portraits of soldiers of the United States Army. This 150-year old technique is the same process that was used to document much of the Civil War era. Susan has produced portraits of Fort Benning soldiers during a residency at the Columbus Museum; these, along with images of servicemen and women from Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart near Savannah, will be on display.

Wet plate collodion processes (ambrotypes on glass plates and tintypes on metal plates) produce photographs that show minute details in facial features and dress. Thus, Susan is able to explore the individuality of each soldier. “The anonymous visual presentation of multitudes of soldiers on television, newspapers and the internet became disconcerting, and I wanted to make pictures that focused on each soldier as a unique person who happened to be wearing a uniform,” says Susan.

This exhibition is made possible by a grant from the Columbus Consolidated Government and the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.