Multnomah Falls, Columbia River, Oregon, 2500 feet.

Object Details


Multnomah Falls, Columbia River, Oregon, 2500 feet.


Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)




Multnomah, Oregon, United States, North America (Place created)




Albumen silver print

Object Number:



52.2 × 40 cm (20 9/16 × 15 3/4 in.)

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In Carleton Watkins's expansive vertical photograph, the Multnomah falls enter the frame at the top of the image as though falling from the heavens. The falls boldly bisect the land, dividing the image into a frosty, wintry left half and a lush, spring-like right. The froth eventually plunges into murky, darkened depths. The Multnomah waterfalls are located on a short tributary of the Columbia River that rises in the Larch Mountains of northwestern Oregon. As seen here, the upper and lower Multnomahs fall into the Columbia River Gorge with a combined height of 850 feet and a single drop of 620 feet, one of the longest in the United States.

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

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. 50.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 59.