Exhibitions/ Carleton Watkins

Carleton Watkins: The Art of Perception

October 5, 1999–January 9, 2000
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Overview

This major exhibition demonstrates the artistry of Carleton Watkins (1829–1916), the finest American landscape photographer of the nineteenth century. A New Yorker who moved to California with the Gold Rush, Watkins made his name photographing the awe-inspiring Yosemite Valley in the 1860s. His large albumen silver prints are dazzling tours de force that propose, with crystalline clarity, an ideal harmony between man and nature. The controlled grandeur of his vision is displayed in more than seventy exquisite mammoth plate prints, while the brilliance of his compositional eye is featured in binocular video displays of stereographs that re-create the sensational and perceptual early form of popular entertainment.

Made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.

Additional major support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and with special cooperation from the Huntington Library and Art Gallery.