David Octavius Hill (British, Perth, Scotland 1802–1870 Edinburgh, Scotland)
Robert Adamson (British, St. Andrews, Scotland 1821–1848 St. Andrews, Scotland)
Salted paper print from paper negative
20.8 x 15 cm (8 3/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and Lila Acheson Wallace Gifts, 1997
Not on view
Although Hill was primarily a painter of land- and townscapes, he and Adamson made few photographs of those subjects. In several cases where they did, the choice of subject is understandable: their photograph of the sixteenth-century house of John Knox, founding force and passionate voice of the Church of Scotland, resonated because of its connection to the Church and the possibility in 1844 that it might be demolished; the photographs of Greyfriars Churchyard layer local history with romantic connections of mortality. Other photographs, such as the one shown here, seem to have been made more for the sheer aesthetic pleasure of the result: an allover pattern of dappled light seems to bring the leafless tree to life like the first warm rays of spring.
Inscription: Stamped on mount: "RSA"
From a set of presentation albums assembled and given by David Octavius Hill to the Royal Scottish Academy (1852); deaccessioned by the Royal Scottish Academy (1977); [Thackrey & Robertson, San Francisco]; John Rubel, San Francisco; William Rubel, Santa Cruz, California; [Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Fine Photographs, New York]
Crocker Art Museum. "Masterworks of Photography from the Rubel Collection," January 9, 1982–February 21, 1982.
Achenbach Graphic Arts Council. "Masterworks of Photography from the Rubel Collection," January 1, 1984–February 1, 1984.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The History of Photography from California Collections," January 1, 1989–February 1, 1989.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1, 1999–September 19, 1999.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 36," November 3, 2003–March 7, 2004.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art–Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013.
National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art–Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8, 2013–May 9, 2013.
Thackrey, Sean. Masterworks of Photography from the Rubel Collection. Sacramento: Crocker Art Museum, 1982. pl. 13.
Schaaf, Larry J. Sun Pictures, Catalogue Eight: The Rubel Collection. Sun Pictures. New York: Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, 1997. p. 34.
Daniel, Malcolm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 56, no. 4 (Spring 1999). p. 21.
Barnet, Peter, and Atsuyuki Nakahara. Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tokyo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 77, pp. 134, 240.