Multnomah Falls, Columbia River, Oregon / [Multnomah Falls, Side]

Object Details


Multnomah Falls, Columbia River, Oregon / [Multnomah Falls, Side]


Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

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




Multnomah, Oregon, United States (Place created)


negative 1867; print 1881 - 1885


Albumen silver print


55.1 x 40.3 cm (21 11/16 x 15 7/8 in.)

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At the base of the Columbia River Gorge adjacent to the lower falls, Carleton Watkins positioned his 18 x 22-inch camera so that the lens tilted upward. In so doing, he accommodated both the upper and lower falls, the intriguing trunks of various trees, and the face of the gorge itself. The trees on the right seem to tilt as a result of the camera angle he used. Unlike many of the photographs Watkins took on his 1867 expedition to Oregon, his images of Multnomah Falls contain no sky, no negative space. Surrounded by dense forest, simply finding a good viewpoint of the cascades proved difficult.

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
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
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

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. 49.

Fraenkel Gallery and Peter E. Palmquist. Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs, 1861-1874 (San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery in association with Bedford Arts, 1989) pl. 103.