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Requiem in Glass: Brady's Greenhouse at Cameron Art Museum

Requiem in Glass: Brady's Greenhouse by Harry Taylor (YouTube video)










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Requiem in Glass

February 21, 2014

Wilmington, North Carolina - Last week I met my modern day Timothy O'Sullivan - Harry Fly Taylor.

Harry Fly Taylor

His new installation at the Cameron Art Museum, a greenhouse titled, Requiem in Glass: Brady's Greenhouse is a surreal construct using dozens of Harry's single wet processed photographic glass plates. The piece pays homage to Matthew Brady's famous glass plate images from the Civil War, which were sold as scrap glass to satisfy his creditors. A lot of the old glass images were then recycled into the making of greenhouses... and there, in the sun, those iconic images of soldiers, battles and death quietly faded away.

Images from Opening Day at the Museum

I cannot imagine how Harry ever conceived such an incongruous juxtaposition of faux historical artifacts, modern sculpture and the reenactments of the final battles of the Civil War.

The distance between time, reality and art collapses as you enter the darkened room where the greenhouse stands. The glass pane photographs that make up Harry's greenhouse seem at first visually unavailable... then beams from the tiny flashlights carried by visitors start bouncing across the structure illuminating the various images for them to study and wonder at.

The artist travels to Civil War reenactments with his 8 x 10 period camera, a lot of chemicals and glass, along with a large dark-box. Behind the lines, he sets up his huge camera, dons his black cloth and photographs soldiers and camp followers between battles and demonstrations. (In the past ten days we have followed him into two "war zones.")

The Installation will be on view at The Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina through June 1, 2014. 

More about Timothy O'Sullivan (for whom Sully, the Wonder Dog, is named) and us.

I know I shouldn't be surprised by what you two do (on the computer), but I have to say that the Requiem in Glass was so well put together. I am truly impressed (again or as usual). And being me, I wandered back to the pictures from Canyon de Chelly, and again was so impressed by the photography. I'm glad you volunteered at the hatchery last year.


Lovely post and so glad you found this guy and his greenhouse! We hope to be in Myrtle Beach in early May and will put this on our list of things to see. I had no knowledge about what happened to Matthew Brady's work after he died - thanks, Peg and Bernie


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