James Duncan Graham

images for James Duncan Graham
Exhibition Label
James Duncan Graham was a Virginia-born army officer who had graduated from West Point in 1817 and served on several surveying and scientific expeditions to the American West. He later became one of the founders of the army’s topographical section and was valued for his mapmaking skills.
Welsh-born photographer John Plumbe Jr. helped demonstrate the commercial viability of photography by establishing a network of daguerreian galleries throughout the country, including one in Washington, D.C. (1844). He specialized in portraits of government officials, such as this one of Graham, and landmarks, taking the first image of the U.S. Capitol. Plumbe was fascinated by the American West, which may have been another connection between him and Graham.
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James Duncan Graham: Male
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James Duncan Graham: Natural Resources\Topographer
National Portrait Gallery
John Plumbe, Jr., Jul 1809 - Jul 1857
James Duncan Graham, 4 Apr 1799 - 28 Dec 1865
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Three-quarter daguerreotype
Image: 16.5 x 13.5cm (6 1/2 x 5 5/16")
Case Open: 17.8 x 31.4 x 0.8cm (7 x 12 3/8 x 5/16")
Case Closed: 17.8 x 15.7 x 1.9cm (7 x 6 3/16 x 3/4")
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1845
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