Oct 3, 2007

Davoncastle Butte, Sierra Nevada

Davoncastle Butte, Sierra Nevada

c. 1866-1870

Carleton E. Watkins

(American, 1829-1916)

Albumen print from wet collodion negative

Image: 40.5 x 54.8 cm (15 15/16 x 21 9/16 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1988.87



From the medium’s beginnings in the 1830s through the 1880s, most photographs were intimately scaled objects meant for the hand, the album, and the home. As the medium began being used to document landscapes and monuments in the 1850s, larger scale processes arose such as the glass-plate negative. The mammoth print truly seemed gargantuan in the 1860s. For much of the 20th century, the 8-x-10-inch gelatin silver print was the norm for photojournalism; these prints were destined for reproduction in books and magazines around the same scale.

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