City Front from Rincon Hill in 1860
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Carleton E. Watkins
American, San Francisco, California, 1860 - 1862
Albumen print
9 7/8 x 16 3/8 in.

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Although the foreground is a velvety black, the buildings receding behind the New York Grocery & Liquor Store become progressively lighter towards the horizon. The setting sun bathes the facades in light, showing that Carleton Watkins made this exposure late in the afternoon. He took the picture near the present-day anchor of the Bay Bridge, on the east side of the San Francisco peninsula. Before he ever began photographing in the wilderness, Watkins made his earliest outside-the-studio images of the buildings and cities around him--first San Jose, California, and then San Francisco.