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View on the Calloway Canal, Near Poso Creek, Kern County
Carleton Watkins (American, 1829 - 1916)
Albumen silver print
37.5 × 53 cm (14 3/4 × 20 7/8 in.)
The first photographs Watkins made along the Kern River served as evidence in a water rights lawsuit that eventually resulted in a decisive court ruling that prevented newcomers from diverting water from existing landowners. James Ben Ali Haggin, the defendant and Watkins's client, had a series of irrigation canals that raised the price of land in Kern County. In this spare composition, made where present-day Poso Road crosses the Calloway Canal, Watkins devoted almost equal proportions to sky, land, and water.