Seth Eastman at Dighton Rock

Object Details


Seth Eastman at Dighton Rock


Horatio B. King (American, 1820 - 1889)




July 7, 1853




8.9 x 12.1 cm (3 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.)

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Draftsman, painter, and watercolorist Seth Eastman appears seated atop the inscribed rock, a proper gentleman in high collar and vest contrasted with the natural setting and primitive, cryptic carvings. Eastman had been commissioned to illustrate Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's monumental book, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Here Eastman collaborated with Horatio King, a local Taunton, Massachusetts, daguerreotypist, who made the photograph. Based on the information provided in this photograph, Schoolcraft concluded that the Native American inscriptions, which had been highlighted with white chalk so that they would show up more clearly in the photograph, dated from American prehistory.

1984 -

Daniel Wolf, Inc.

Neither Speech nor Language: Photography and the Written Word (February 28 to May 12, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), February 28 to May 12, 1991
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA, (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
The Art of the Daguerreotype (April 14 to July 12, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 14 to July 12, 1998

Schoolcraft, Henry R., "Ethnological Researches, Respecting The Red Man of America - Information Respecting the Human Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States" (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1856), Part IV, p. 120.

Lowry, Bates, and Isabael Barrett Lowry. The Silver Canvas : Daguerreotype Masterpieces from the J. Paul Getty Museum, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1998) p. 117, pl. 45.