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Like many Southern cities, Nashville has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two centuries, evolving from a simple pioneering crossroads into a large cosmopolitan center with its citizens representing every nationality, race, and creed. The latter years of the nineteenth century proved especially momentous in the city’s growth and development, and two visionary Nashvillians, Carl and Otto Giers, documented the many different elements of city life through their photographic talent.
In Nashville: From the Collection of Carl and Otto Giers Volume II, readers will journey to the Nashville of old and see the city through the artistry of the Giers’ studio: a time when the city hosted some of the most recognizable and celebrated Confederate and Union officers, such as Nathan Bedford Forrest and Ulysses S. Grant, who both sat for studio portraits. Enduring the ravages of the Civil War, Nashville rebuilt itself and the Giers were there to record its rebirth, photographing everyday life against many different settings: from the city’s graveyards, such as Calvary, Mount Olivet, and National Cemetery, to its poverty-stricken neighborhoods, to the elegant homes of the affluent, to the flourishing business district. Not just concerned with the routine, the Giers focused on capturing Nashville’s history in the making, including portraits of state governors, such as William Gannaway Brownlow, Albert Smith Marks, and Robert Love Taylor, scenes of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and the Tennessee Industrial Exposition, and the city’s most-famous attractions, Belmont and the Hermitage.
About the Author
Author James A. Hoobler, senior curator at the Tennessee State Museum, continues tracing Nashville’s heritage through the photographic work of Carl and Otto Giers. A wonderful companion to the first volume, Nashville: From the Collection of Carl and Otto Giers Volume II provides an intriguing visual tour of the city’s past, allowing oldtimers and newcomers a rare opportunity to experience the Nashville of yesteryear.