Exhibitions/ Art Object

Cape Horn, Columbia River, Oregon

Artist:
Carleton E. Watkins (American, 1829–1916)
Date:
1867
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 52.1 x 39 cm (20 1/2 x 15 3/8 in.) Frame: 76.2 x 63.5 cm (30 x 25 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.493
Not on view
Watkins, the consummate photographer of the American West, combined a virtuoso mastery of the difficult wet plate negative process with a rigorous sense of pictorial structure. For large-format landscape work such as Watkins produced along the Columbia River in Oregon, the physical demands were great. Since there was as yet no practical means of enlarging, Watkins's glass negatives had to be as large as he wished the prints to be, and his camera large enough to accommodate them. Furthermore, the glass negatives had to be coated, exposed, and developed while the collodion remained tacky, requiring the photographer to transport a traveling darkroom as he explored the rugged virgin terrain of the American West. The crystalline clarity of Watkins's remarkable "mammoth" prints is unmatched in the work of any of his contemporaries and is approached by few artists working today.
Inscription: various inscriptions, see verso.
National Park Service at Yosemite Collection; [Helios Arts, Inc., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, August 4, 1977

Amon Carter Museum of American Art. "Carleton E. Watkins: Photographer of the American West," April 1, 1983–May 22, 1983.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Carleton E. Watkins: Photographer of the American West," June 15, 1983–August 14, 1983.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Carleton E. Watkins: Photographer of the American West," September 15, 1983–October 30, 1983.

Oakland Museum of California. "Carleton E. Watkins: Photographer of the American West," December 16, 1983–February 19, 1984.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography," May 7, 1989–July 30, 1989.

Art Institute of Chicago. "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography," September 16, 1989–November 26, 1989.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 42," January 10, 2006–April 23, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

Mia Fineman, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

Earl A. Powell III, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Earl A. Powell III, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Gary Tinterow, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Gary Tinterow, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Watkins, Carleton E. Photographs of the Columbia River and Oregon, edited by James Alinder. Carmel, Calif.: Friends of Photography, Carmel, 1980. no. 48.

Palmquist, Peter E. Carleton Watkins: Photographer of the American West. Albuquerque: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1983. pl. 32.

Greenough, Sarah. On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography. 1st ed. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1989. p. 120.

Palmquist, Peter E. Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs, 1861–1874. San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery, 1989. no. 93.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 6, pp. 12, 207.



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