Cathedral Rock - Yo Semite

Object Details

Title:

Cathedral Rock - Yo Semite

Artist/Maker:

Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)

Culture:

American

Place:

Yosemite, California, United States, North America (Place created)

Date:

1861

Medium:

Albumen silver print

Object Number:

85.XM.361.31

Dimensions:

40.8 × 50.8 cm (16 1/16 × 20 in.)

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Early visitors to Yosemite saw the valley in religious and historical terms, likening the primordial geological features to the great ruins of Western civilization. Sites such as the Egyptian pyramids and the Roman Colosseum had become familiar through stereographs by European photographers. In this photograph of Cathedral Rock, named for its resemblance to Gothic architecture, Watkins emphasized the monumental quality of the towering granite spires that almost entirely fill the frame.

Exhibitions
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

Fels, Thomas Weston. Carleton Watkins, Photographer: Yosemite and Mariposa Views from the Collection of the Park McCullough House, North Bennington, Vermont, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1983), p. 31.

Fraenkel Gallery and Peter E. Palmquist. Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs, 1861-1874 (San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery in association with Bedford Arts, 1989), pl. 8.