Carte de Visites


Carte de Visites




General John Bell Hood
President Andrew Johnson
Vice President John C. Breckinridge
General P.G.T. Beauregard, Sitter
General Richard Scott "Dick" Taylor
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut


General Samuel Cooper
General John Hunt Morgan
General Richard S. Ewell


Lieutenant General William Joseph Hardee
Lieutenant-General Leonidas Polk


General Braxton Bragg
General Edmund Kirby Smith


General Edward Johnson


John Wilkes Booth
Captain Raphael Semmes
General Robert E. Lee
The Fairy Wedding Group


Horloge Astronomique Protographic
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb
General Albert Sidney Johnston
General Sterling Price
John Wilkes Booth
The Royal Satsuma's Japanese Troupe






Alfred Roman- Original Owner

*See individual CdVs





Material/ Technique


Hand coloring

Silver gelatin print



10.2 x 6.4 cm



The Collection of Oak Alley Foundation






“Big House” exhibit

   Artifact Room




The carte de visite, or CdV, was one of the first wildly popular and exploitable forms of photography. Finding its origins in early calling cards, the CdV had several attributes that lead to its prominence. First, the size was universal which allowed international trading and use. Due to its materials, an albumen print on a thick card, there was no hazardous or delicate materials, such as glass, that had to be protected.  The image was always clear and easy to see and it was overall light enough that mailing was easily accomplished. With their small size, relatively low cost production, and universal sizing, the carte de visites quickly became prominent in places such as America, England, and France. 

Today, in the Artifact Room of the “Big House” exhibit, nineteen cartes de visites are on display, a small portion of the full twenty-eight count set. At one point in time, all twenty-eight resided inside of an album owned by Alfred Roman, son of former Governor Andre Bienvenu Roman and nephew to Jacques Telesphore Roman, owner of Oak Alley Plantation. Alfred Roman played a large role in the Civil War and, unsurprisingly, collected many CdVs of various military and public figures.


Inside of the “Big House” exhibit, the following carte de visites are on display within the Artifact Room: General John Bell Hood, President Andrew Johnson, Vice President John C. Breckinridge, General P.G.T. Beauregard, General Richard Scott “Dick” Taylor, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, General John Hunt Morgan, General Richard S. Ewell, and Lieutenant General William Joseph Hardee, John Wilkes Booth, Captain Raphael Semmes, General Robert E. Lee, Major General Sterling Price, and two unidentified soldiers. 


Of the full twenty-eight, ten CdVs are in storage hosting the following sitters: General Samuel Cooper, General Robert E. Lee, The Fairy Wedding Group, “Horloge Astronomique Protographic”, The Royal Satsuma’s Japanese Troupe, Mr. and Mrs. General Tom Thumb, General Albert Sidney Johnston, John Wilkes Booth, and two unidentified soldiers.



"Big House" Exhibit: Artifact Room
"Big House" Exhibit Exterior
"Big House" Exhibit: Dining Room
"Big House" Exhibit: Lavender Room
Foundation Storage
Objects from the Collection