The Sentinel Rock, 3270ft

View up Yosemite Valley

Description

Carleton Watkins is often considered the consummate photographer of the American West (“Carleton Watkins: Yosemite”, 2014). Best known for his mammoth prints, which spanned eighteen by twenty-two inches, Watkins would have had to trek a remarkable amount of equipment in order to capture his landscapes. His use of the wet-collodion process means he would have not only had to bring his sizable camera, but also large glass plates and other chemicals. Even so, Watkins was uniquely able to capture the sublime as he saw it in Yosemite. The title of this specific work, which includes the height of the rock as 3270 feet, speaks to the emphasis he placed on the immense scale of the scene. Although human interference is visible through both the bridge and structure in the shadows, it seems as though they were carefully included so as to illustrate the grandeur of nature in comparison to the power of man. Evidently, no building will ever compare to the enormity of the Sentinel Rock. 


Because of the widespread dissemination of photographs such as this, American pride became largely associated with these magnificent landscapes. Watkins and his contemporaries were thus partially responsible for the political push to establish a National Park Service in the midst of the Civil War as the preservation of America's wilderness became integral to national identity.

MetaData

Dublin Core

Title

The Sentinel Rock, 3270ft

Subject

Yosemite, photograph, print

Description

Carleton Watkins is often considered the consummate photographer of the American West (“Carleton Watkins: Yosemite”, 2014). Best known for his mammoth prints, which spanned eighteen by twenty-two inches, Watkins would have had to trek a remarkable amount of equipment in order to capture his landscapes. His use of the wet-collodion process means he would have not only had to bring his sizable camera, but also large glass plates and other chemicals. Even so, Watkins was uniquely able to capture the sublime as he saw it in Yosemite. The title of this specific work, which includes the height of the rock as 3270 feet, speaks to the emphasis he placed on the immense scale of the scene. Although human interference is visible through both the bridge and structure in the shadows, it seems as though they were carefully included so as to illustrate the grandeur of nature in comparison to the power of man. Evidently, no building will ever compare to the enormity of the Sentinel Rock. 


Because of the widespread dissemination of photographs such as this, American pride became largely associated with these magnificent landscapes. Watkins and his contemporaries were thus partially responsible for the political push to establish a National Park Service in the midst of the Civil War as the preservation of America's wilderness became integral to national identity.

Creator

Carleton E. Watkins, American, 1829–1916

Source

Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG)

Publisher

N/A

Date

1866

Contributor

Maya Geschwind

Rights

Public domain

Relation

Photographs

Format

image: 52 x 39.4 cm (20 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.); sheet: 65 x 49.5 cm (25 9/16 x 19 1/2 in.)

Language

En-US

Type

Photograph

Identifier

2011.92.2

Coverage

Yosemite

Alternative Title

View up Yosemite Valley

Date Created

February 20, 2018

Access Rights

Public domain

Medium

Albumen print

Bibliographic Citation

https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/164638

Spatial Coverage

Yosemite

Temporal Coverage

Civil War, 19th Century

Accrual Method

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund and Everett V. Meeks, B.A. 1901, Fund

Audience

General audience

Rights Holder

https://artgallery.yale.edu/terms-and-conditions

Citation

Carleton E. Watkins, American, 1829–1916, “The Sentinel Rock, 3270ft,” Park Culture, accessed March 4, 2021, http://parkculture.org/items/show/119.

Collection

Geolocation