Rare mammoth plate albumen print inscribed verso by Watkins "The Vernal & Nevada Falls from Glacier Pt- Yosemite Valley No. 100" on the original mount. The image has warm deep tones and is a very crisp image. It provides a wonderful panoramic view of the Yosemite Valley taken in 1865-1866. This view was made looking south south-east from Glacial Point Vernal Fall (the lower fall) and Nevada Fall are to the left of the center.
Exhibitions: An example of this photograph was exhibites in 1868 and 1869 in Mechanics' Institute Fairs, San Franciso 1876 and the Phildelphia Centennial Exposition.
Condition of photograph: The photograph is in outstanding condition given its age. The edges of the mount have some typical toning and there is a small loss to the edges of the left corners.
Condition of frame: The photograph is archivally mounted in a contemporarey black wood frame with "UV" plexiglass.
Provenance: A New England Estate.
Dimensions: Height 16 1/8, Width 20 1/2 inches.
Reference: Naef, Weston, and Lewis-Hult, Christine, Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), Cat. No. 264, No. 116. Page 116 Plate number 264. A slightly smaller version from the same negative is illustrated on this page.
Notes: Carleton Watkins first photographed the Yosemite Valley in 1861, producing mammuth-plate negatives (18 x 22 in.) of the awe-inspiring natural landscape. These images ultimately made their way to the East Coast, where they are said to have been shown to Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Lincoln was so moved by the images that he proclaimed that the Yosemite Valley forever remain in the public domain, thereby establishing the precursor to today's Yosemite National Park. In the summers of 1865-6, Watkins returned to the Yosemite Valley, creating numerous striking mammuth-plate photographs as he recorded the now-iconic vistas. These views were faithfully re-photographed by Ansel Adams half a century later. Unfortunately, for much of the twentieth century, Watkins was a forgotten name in the history of American photography, and it was not until the late 1970s that academics and collectors alike began to rediscover his work. The intervening century had not been kind to Watkins' by the mid-1870s, Watkins was in financial ruin and had ceded control of his negatives to a creditor, and in 1906 the bulk of his work was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. Over the years, many universities and public libraries deaccessioned their collection of Watkins' mammuth plate prints. Thus, today, very few examples of Watkins' Yosemite photographs survive, and this photograph from a newly discovered collection of twenty works - works that represent some of his most recognizable Yosemite views - is a truly remarkable addition to Watkins' oeuvre.