Burns Archive Exhibition Reviewed in The New Yorker

Goings On About Town: Art

Reed Bontecou

Bontecou, the head surgeon at a Washington, D.C., Army hospital during the Civil War, photographed wounded soldiers to document their injuries and treatment. His sepia-toned albumen prints were mounted in the elegant oval formats typical of the period’s popular carte-de-visite portraits, and his subjects do their best to strike a formal pose while half dressed and badly hurt. In the nearly fifty small examples here, grave young men display amputated limbs, bullet wounds, missing fingers, and disfigured faces. But Bontecou’s sympathy turns what could be mere medical curiosities into true portraits—complicated, touching, and unsettling. Through Nov. 12.

Through November 12
24 W. 57th St., New York, NY