Our Art / Carleton Watkins / Agassiz Rock and the Yosemite Falls, from Union Point

Agassiz Rock and the Yosemite Falls, from Union Point by Carleton Watkins
Agassiz Rock and the Yosemite Falls, from Union Point by Carleton Watkins

Agassiz Rock and the Yosemite Falls, from Union Point, 1878

Carleton Watkins

This rock is one you may never see in real life; Agassiz Rock is hard to find today, though climbers know how. The stunning, fist-like formation in Watkins’ early image is the perfect foreground object to oppose the spectacular, yet distant Yosemite Falls. It gathers the shadows of late afternoon as they begin to creep down into the valley, still in full sunlight. Watkins hauled two tons of photographic equipment up and down the rugged landscapes of Yosemite by mule, then managed to preserve the large, unwieldy and extremely fragile glass plates on which his images were captured, all the way back to his San Francisco studio.

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Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum
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