Cape Horn, Columbia River, Oregon

Object Details

Title:

Cape Horn, Columbia River, Oregon

Artist/Maker(s):

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

I.W. Taber (American, 1830 - 1912)

Culture:

American

Place(s):

Cape Horn, Oregon, United States (Place created)

Date:

negative 1867; print about 1881 - 1883

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Dimensions:

40.5 x 52.3 cm (15 15/16 x 20 9/16 in.)

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In 1867 Carleton Watkins made an expedition to Oregon to obtain photographs of its geology, including the chain of extinct volcanic mountains that cap the coastal range. This view was made from the Washington side of the Columbia River. Even the evidence of a solitary boatman and his cargo does not disturb the landscape's profound serenity, nor does his presence reveal the fact that cultivated farmland and an apple orchard existed nearby. Watkins's image nonetheless portrays a man facing nature at its most grand and overwhelming. The man's boat appears ready to launch into the still, glassy river, an act that will make an indelible imprint on the water's pristine, boundless surface.

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
Nineteenth Century American Photography (October 26, 1991 to March 29, 1992)
  • The Amon Carter Museum, (Fort Worth), October 26, 1991 to January 5, 1992
  • Mead Art Museum, (Amherst), February 1 to March 29, 1992
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
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
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

Watkins, Carleton E. and James Alinder, ed. Photographs of the Columbia River and Oregon, with essays by David Featherstone and Russ Anderson (Carmel, Calif.: Friends of Photography: Weston Gallery, 1979) pl. 17.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 205.

Watkins, Carleton E. and Weston Naef, ed. Carleton Watkins: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: The Museum, 1997)

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