Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Devil's Canyon, Geysers, Looking Down

Artist:
Carleton E. Watkins (American, 1829–1916)
Date:
1868–70
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
39.8 x 52.4 cm. (15 11/16 x 20 5/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.1082
Not on view
This tortured landscape shows Devil's Canyon, which is cited in William Bentley's Hand-Book of the Pacific Coast (1884) as a "favored resort for pleasure seekers" from nearby San Francisco. Located in Sonoma County, its chief feature was a crevasse six feet in diameter known as the "Steam Pipe," a Dantean inferno from which steam bellowed forth with a blast that often exceeded the scream of a locomotive whistle. The tiny figure on the left, a surrogate for the viewer, is rare in Watkins' work and is thought to be the photographer himself.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, recto LC: "CEW.243.X"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto LC: "2 [encircled]"
Fraenkel Gallery

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 4," March 1, 1994–June 12, 1994.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception," May 28, 1999–September 7, 1999.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception," October 5, 1999–January 9, 2000.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception," February 6, 2000–April 30, 2000.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 34," February 25, 2003–June 22, 2003.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Old Faces and Places: American Photographs, 1845-1870," February 3, 2004–April 25, 2004.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.

Date of negative: c. 1868-70.
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