View of Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Object Details


View of Crawford Notch, New Hampshire


Dr. Samuel A. Bemis (American, 1793 - 1881)




about 1840



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Boston dentist Samuel Bemis, one of the first Americans to use a daguerreotype outfit successfully, practiced photography during his summer months in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. His landscape views of the area are the earliest surviving American photographs to depict untamed nature. Here he depicts a scene of rugged beauty.

An innovative amateur, Bemis was not a masterful technician of the complicated daguerreotype process. The dark tone of the sky and the light areas along the slope of the mountain indicate inadequate processing of the daguerreotype plate.

1984 -

Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., American, 1921 - 1987

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
In Focus: Picturing Landscape (May 22 to October 7, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to October 7, 2012
East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography (March 12 to January 7, 2018)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), March 12 to July 16, 2017

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. 163, pl. 61.

Lord, Russell, Jennifer Raab, Diane Waggoner. East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-century American Landscape Photography, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2017), p. 39, fig. 10.

Waggoner, Diane, Russel Lord and Jennifer Raab, eds. East of the Mississippi : Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography, exh. cat. (Washington: National Gallery of Arts, 2017), Diane Waggoner, "The Daguerreotype", plate 10, p. 39.