Though Mathew Brady may never have actually taken the photographs for which he is famous, his photo portraits are unmistakable, and our visual image of the Civil War is largely attributed to his work. The National Archives is, to carry this a step further, pretty much responsible for our visual image of Mathew Brady, with its collection of over 6000 of his glass-plate negatives. The Archives has issued a portfolio of twele Brady portraits, twelve-and-a-half by eighteen inches, suitable for framing, and its selling them at a remarkable $5 per set ($7 by mail). These dozen Civil War figures and groups include General Grant looking smaller than life, General Sherman looking as if the fire in his eyes could ignite the entire South, Walt Whitman as he might have been invented by Walt Disney, and Clara Barton looking sculpted from rock. Of course there is Lincoln, looking human as he rarely does in the halls and monuments that bear his likeness.
Mathew Brady portfolio. $5 from National Archives Exhibition Hall, 8th Street at Constitution Avenue NM; or $7 by mail , with checks made payable to National Archives Trust Fund, and sent to Cashier (NEPS), National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C. 20408. 566-1231.