The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Section of the Grizzly Giant]

Object Details

Title:

[Section of the Grizzly Giant]

Artist/Maker:

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

Culture:

American

Date:

1865 - 1866

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Object Number:

84.XM.493.11

Dimensions:

52.2 × 41.1 cm (20 9/16 × 16 3/16 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

Carleton Watkins first photographed the base of the grizzly giant with Galen Clark, Yosemite's caretaker, in 1861. At that time, fallen branches so large they were the size of ordinary trees surrounded the base of the giant sequoia. In this image, taken five years later, the area around the tree had been cleared, giving it a less rugged, more park-like appearance. Although Yosemite Valley attracted artists and wealthy travelers as early as the 1850s, Watkins's images helped to further promote visitation to the site, especially after the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1859.

When Watkins displayed his images of the Big Trees at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition, he added elegant redwood frames, providing a tactile hint of California for European viewers.

Provenance
Provenance
-1984

Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., American, 1921 - 1987, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Carleton Watkins: From Where the View Looked Best (February 15 to June 4, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 15 to June 4, 2000