Untitled (Chicago after the Chicago Fire)

A work made of albumen prints.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen prints.

Date:

1871

Artist:

Attributed to George N. Barnard
American, 1819–1902

About this artwork

Chicago's Great Fire of 1871 killed 300 people, left 100,000 homeless, and leveled four square miles of the city. Yet as the flames died, resolve replaced despair. This photograph was made perhaps one month after the fire, and it shows the makeshift homes, businesses, telegraph poles, and streetcar tracks that were in place even before the rubble was pushed into the lake. Within three years, Chicago would regain its position as the premier city of the Midwest.

This panorama was probably made by George N. Barnard, who documented the tremendous devastation of the South by the campaign of General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War. Barnard had a studio in downtown Chicago, but, forced into the lake to flee the fire, he lost everything except the equipment he held aloft in the water. Like Chicago itself, he quickly recovered and joined colleagues who documented the rebuilding of the city.

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Photography

Artist

George N. Barnard

Title

Untitled (Chicago after the Chicago Fire)

Origin

United States

Date

1871

Medium

Albumen prints

Dimensions

22.8 × 155 cm

Credit Line

Gift of Robert Jesmer

Reference Number

1979.1385

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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