Malakoff Diggings, North Bloomfield, Nevada County, California

Object Details

Title:

Malakoff Diggings, North Bloomfield, Nevada County, California

Artist/Maker:

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

Culture:

American

Date:

1871

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Dimensions:

40.2 × 52.4 cm (15 13/16 × 20 5/8 in.)

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In this highly detailed overview, Carleton Watkins looked down upon a hydraulic mining operation and recorded the early intrusion of industry upon the landscape. A layered, dense forest surrounds the mine, which recedes into the background, subordinated to the stripped and littered foreground. A diagonal pipe, ferrying precious resources to an unseen destination, bisects the bleak clearing. A lone building in the upper left center peeks out from a crevice, giving a sense of scale. Watkins's lens, encompassing a vast depth of field, sharply drew each stone and pebble in the mine, each striation of rock.

Exhibitions
Carleton Watkins: Western Landscape and the Classical Vision (March 13 to May 27, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), March 13 to May 27, 1990
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
Dialogue Among Giants: Carleton Watkins and the Rise of Photography in California (October 14, 2008 to March 1, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 14, 2008 to March 1, 2009
Bibliography

Fraenkel Gallery and Peter E. Palmquist. Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs, 1861-1874 (San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery in association with Bedford Arts, 1989), pl. 83.

Fels, Thomas Weston. Carelton Watkins: Western Landscape and the Classical Vision, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1990), fig. 4.