@ National Portrait Gallery
DescriptionEdward C. Africanus was the pastor of the Macedonia Church in Flushing, New York, part of the greater African Methodist Episcopal Church and allegedly a station on the Underground Railroad. Probably published as a memorial print, this lithograph of Africanus would have been available to his parish shortly after his untimely death. The highly particularized details of hair, clothing, and hands indicate that the print was copied from a daguerreotype. Before the introduction of the first photographic technologies, portraitists typically subordinated wrinkles and skin flaws and downplayed the hands, hair, and clothes to focus on the face. But the print of Africanus, carefully delineating such specifics as the knuckles and veins of the hands, shows a new attitude toward detail in daguerreian-age portraiture. As one magazine noted: "the more minutely we see, the more we see.
Lithograph On Paper
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution