Our Art / Carleton Watkins / Cypress Point, Monterey

Cypress Point, Monterey by Carleton Watkins
Cypress Point, Monterey by Carleton Watkins

Cypress Point, Monterey, 1880

Carleton Watkins

A lone cypress tree, elegantly shaped by centuries of wind, clings to the edge of the cliff above the rocky northern California coastline. A thick creeping fog, typical of the Monterey Peninsula, obscures the Pacific Ocean below; towards the horizon, fog blends seamlessly into the gray sky. When Watkins took this photograph, scientists were already aware that this cypress species was disappearing from its native habitat. Only two native cypress forests still exist: the one shown here and another nearby at Point Lobos State Reserve; this tenacious cypress tree embodies the ancient mysteries of longevity and survival.

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Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum
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