An important collection of 40 mammoth-plate photographs of the American West, created for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Watkins, c. 1863-74.
Carleton Watkins exhibited these very photographs at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the first world’s fair in America. Watkins is the greatest of the first generation of photographers of the American West. His early photographs of Yosemite and Utah have never been surpassed. When his work was exhibited back East, the New York Times declared, “As specimens of the photographic art they are unequaled. The views are … indescribably unique and beautiful. Nothing in the way of landscapes can be more impressive.”