Meet Alexander Gardner
Alexander Gardner is a pivotal figure in the history of photography. Learning photography in Scotland, he immigrated to the United States where he initially worked with Mathew Brady. By the end of the Civil War, Gardner was one of the preeminent photographers of the time. The first photos of real battlefields, many of the Lincoln photos, the documentation of the West after the War, and the publishing of the first photographic history of the American Civil War place him as integral to the times. Through Alive With History, Alexander is willing to talk about a variety of subjects, engage in discussions on the ethics involved in photojournalism, and even provide lessons in stereo photography.
Meet Franklin Hogan
Corporal Franklin Hogan was a long time resident of Hutchinson, Kansas, and is buried there in East Side Cemetery. Cpl Hogan was being performed during a "Talking Tombstones" entertainment in honor of his receipt of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. He has since been invited into Alive With History to tell his story of boredom, endurance, fear, and heroism.
A performance includes a 30 to 45 minute presentation by a specific individual with a question and answer time that involves both the character and the scholar.
This program is most appropriate for meetings, conferences and general presentations.
A facilitated discussion involves the audience in direct interchange. That is, a short presentation by the historical individual is followed by an interactive discussion involving all participants including the scholar and the character being portrayed.
This program format allows a small group to explore the issues that the character emphasizes in his presentation. Examples might be the meaning of heroism, the ethics of photojournalism, or the lifestyle of the times.
Facilitated discussions fit into an hour or can extend to several hours depending on the topic, participants and available time.
Demonstration and Training
Alexander Gardner, as a master of stereo photography, demonstrates how stereo photographs are made and then participates (with the scholar) in hands-on-training.
Demonstrations include discussion of the physiological basis for stereo vision and a brief demonstration of the product. No specialized hardware is required for the short program.
Half day and full day training includes the actual taking of photographs and making stereo pictures by the students. Hardware support is required for training.
Presentations are suitable for 4th Grade through Adult.
About the Presentor:
Alive With History is the product of Doug McGovern. He is a photographer, teacher, engineer and historical performer. After retiring from a career in engineering management in 1997, Doug has been able to develop his love of the past initially working on stereo photography. He became interested in stereo vision while developing remotely driven vehicles as an engineer. Stereo television installed in the robotic vehicle allowed the driver to proceed safely around ditches and holes. When Doug had the opportunity to follow the footsteps of his Great Great Grandfather through action in the Civil War (Samuel Cowan, 17th Illinois Volunteer Infantry), he realized that stereo photography, when applied to battlefield scenes, let the viewer "see" the terrain as real. Roads, hills, and trenches stand out. Also, stereo photos of people and action scenes provide a realism that grabs the viewer in a way that regular photos cannot. This inspired Doug to start a company called "Vintage Visuals" to produce and distribute stereo pictures. Of course, the history of these pictures needed to be researched. To understand the times, the techniques, and the talents, Alexander Gardner became a worthy tutor. It was but a short step to then become Alex through developing a historical performance.
Doug is active in other historical activities including working with local preservation efforts, membership in the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, reenacting with the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry (as a civilian photographer), and membership in a Victorian Dance performance group.
For more information, or to schedule a program, contact:
Alive With History
1707 N Limestone Ln.
Wichita, KS 67230
This site was created in 2003 by the Kansas Alliance of Professional Historic Performers and Ride into History Cultural and Educational Project, Inc. with an Attraction Development Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing Travel & Tourism Development Division
Original site concept and development by Danny C. Boyce Computer and Network Support and Consulting, Emporia Kansas
Ongoing website maintenance performed by Megan Matile
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