[First View of the Valley]

Object Details

Title:

[First View of the Valley]

Artist/Maker(s):

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

Culture:

American

Place(s):

Yosemite, California, United States (Place created)

Date:

about 1866

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Dimensions:

41.1 x 52.4 cm (16 3/16 x 20 5/8 in.)

See more

See less

Carleton Watkins positioned his camera in what appears to be midair, capturing the breathtaking effect of the view of Yosemite Valley on first-time visitors. The wonder and amazement led one spectator to proclaim, ''I can tell you nothing of the beauty and grandeur of the scenery–I could not speak, my breath was gone . . . .It is truly the great work of God." Such a remark reveals that Watkins's photographs confirmed the sense of wonder celebrated in America's grand wilderness.

Exhibitions
Experimental Photography: The First Golden Age 1851 - 1889 (April 11 to June 25, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 11 to June 25, 1989, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Pioneers of Landscape Photography: Carleton Watkins and Gustave Le Gray (September 1 to November 7, 1993)
  • Städtische Galerie im Städelsches Kunstinstitut, (Frankfurt), September 1 to November 7, 1993, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Photographers of Genius (March 16 to July 25, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to July 25, 2004, (Cat.)
Yosemite: Art of an American Icon (September 24, 2006 to January 21, 2007)
  • Museum of the American West, (Los Angeles), September 24, 2006 to January 21, 2007, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Fraenkel Gallery and Peter E. Palmquist. Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs, 1861-1874 (San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery in association with Bedford Arts, 1989) plate 1.

Naef, Weston J. Experimental Photography: The First Golden Age, 1851-1889, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989) figure 2.

Naef, Weston J. Carleton Watkins in Yosemite (Los Angeles : J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) pl. 5