Cover image for Carleton Watkins : the art of perception
Carleton Watkins : the art of perception
Nickel, Douglas R. (Douglas Robert), 1961-
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, [1999]

Physical Description:
228 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
General Note:
Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 25-Sept. 14, 1999.
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.
Added Corporate Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR647 .W37 1999C Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Carleton Watkins (1829-1916)was perhaps the greatest American landscape photographer of the 19th century. His groundbreaking images of Yosemite, the Columbia River, and other natural wonders captured the grandeur of the American West for audiences around the world -- and set an aesthetic standard rivaled only in the work of Ansel Adams many years later.

This companion volume to a major traveling exhibition is the most beautiful book on Watkins' work ever published. Produced using state-of-the-art tritone printing, it showcases 105 of the photographer's exquisitely composed images, including four gatefolds presenting Watkins' astonishing panoramic photographs.

The texts are reformed by substantial new research into Watkins' life and work, offering a fresh perspective on his achievement.

Author Notes

Douglas R. Nickel is curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Acknowledged as the foremost 19th-century American landscape photographer, Watkins (1829-1916) produced visual images of an American West that the Victorian populace had barely begun to imagine. Lugging cumbersome equipment, he captured the majesty of Yosemite, the Pacific Coast, the Columbia River, and other regions of the WestÄincluding frontier towns that sprang forth from the mining and lumbering industries. In this companion to a touring exhibition, curator Nickel provides an enlightening reassessment of Watkins's remarkable artistry and the widespread popularity of his panoramic and stereographic pictures. Featured here are 105 full-page tritone plates (many of which have never been published before) whose scenic splendors prompted a national effort for environmental conservation. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries, especially those with strong photography and American history collections.ÄJoan Levin, MLS, Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Peter E. PalmquistPeter E. Palmquist
Lenders to the Exhibitionp. 6
Director's Forewordp. 7
Carleton Watkins: an Introductionp. 8
Notesp. 17
An Art of Perceptionp. 19
San Francisco and Vicinityp. 36
New Seriesp. 186
Selected Referencesp. 214
Chronologyp. 216
Acknowledgmentsp. 220
Catalogue of the Exhibitionp. 222