4470Lecture_6Pt.1

4470Lecture_6Pt.1 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History Program LSU School of Art
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Carlton Watkins, Strait of Carquennes, from South Vallejo , 1868–69, albumen- silver print Within the American school of landscape photographers, Watkins became best known for his dramatic scenery of the Yosemite Valley His early career brought him near Yosemite, to the vast Mariposa estate, where he was commissioned to photograph the property’s mining activities The photographs were used to entice foreign investors to put their money in the estate’s gold and mineral potential Today, we can appreciate these views for their austere beauty
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Carlton Watkins, Malakoff Diggings, North Bloomfield, Nevada , ca. 1870, albumen print Oftentimes in Watkins’s early views, landscape is depicted with evidence for human intervention (typically related to mining activity, such as this one in NV) Watkins probably made his initial trip to Yosemite Valley (1861) in the company of one of the Mariposa estate’s engineers; returned to Yosemite in 1865 and 1866 with members of the California State Geological Survey, studying geology, biology, and mineral potential of the region > historical context: California Gold Rush
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Carlton Watkins, Cathedral Rocks and Spires, 1865-66 albumen print (printed by Taber, ca. 1880) Watkins, alert to opportunity (if not always adept in business matters), began a series of photographs of Yosemite, emphasizing its scenic beauty, which was already attracting interest for aesthetic reasons back east > first tourists arrived in this area of CA right around this time Like O’Sullivan, Watkins preferred to show Yosemite as an American Eden, endowed with awe-inspiring beauty The absence of people accentuated the area as a prime site in which to witness the processes of nature taking shape
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Carlton Watkins, Yosemite, Best General View , from the Mariposa Trail , ca. 1865, albumen print View conceived for a stereographic image: dark foreground area and the tall tree on the right help inflate the three-dimensional effect of the stereograph by creating a sense of spatial depth View typifies the idea of a soaring, sublime landscape so much appreciated by American artists and the public in these years Although more tourists were arriving here by the mid-1860s,Watkins still took photographs that eliminated all traces of human presence German-American Romantic landscape painter Albert Bierstadt was influenced by Watkins’s photographs when he painted Yosemite Valley
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Eadweard Muybridge, Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls from Glacier Rock , 1872, albumen print Muybridge became mostly famous for his photographic motions studies, the very first such studies undertaken with a purely scientific objective However, an at least as important aspect of his career concerned his work as
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4470Lecture_6Pt.1 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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