The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Sugarloaf Islands at Fisherman's Bay, Farallon Islands]

Object Details

Title:

[Sugarloaf Islands at Fisherman's Bay, Farallon Islands]

Artist/Maker:

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

Culture:

American

Place:

Farallon Islands, California, United States (Place Created)

Date:

about 1869

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Object Number:

85.XM.11.22

Dimensions:

41 × 54.3 cm (16 1/8 × 21 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

Craggy rocks rise from a swirling, misty sea. Two seagulls punctuate the foreground, giving the scene a sense of scale. The uninhabited Sugarloaf Islands, part of the Farallon Island group, are located just north of San Francisco in the Pacific Ocean; in this photograph, they loom in the surf offshore like mysterious, petrified sea creatures. The length of the exposure softened the waves' swirl into mist, adding to the impression of ancient, craggy mountaintops breaking through vaporous clouds.

Carleton Watkins frequently photographed the Farallon Islands. This particular area, the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, includes 1,235 square miles of nearshore and offshore waters ranging from wetlands to deep-sea communities.

Exhibitions
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
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
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
Bibliography

Wolf, Daniel. The American Space: Meaning in Nineteenth-Century Landscape Photography, edited and with notes by Daniel Wolf; introduction by Robert Adams (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press; Scranton, Pa.: Distributed by Harper & Row, 1983), pl. 80, titled and dated: "Sugar Loaf Isalnds and FIsherman's Bay, Farallons, California. c. 1870".

Fels, Thomas Weston. Carelton Watkins: Western Landscape and the Classical Vision, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1990), figure 1.