American River, from Green Bluffs

Alfred A. Hart, Carleton Watkinsnegative 1866 - 1869; print after 1870

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Trains passing above the American River often stopped so that tourists and photographers could get out and gaze at the awe-inspiring gorge. While the tourists simply viewed the scenery, photographers like Alfred A. Hart documented them, usually incorporating part of the train in the composition.

Though Hart made this stereograph, its mount bears Carleton E. Watkins's name. Watkins was a San Francisco-based photographer who also chose the railroad as a primary subject. Because Hart's negatives belonged to the Central Pacific Railroad, they were subsequently printed by other company photographers who, like Watkins, did not properly credit Hart.

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  • Title: American River, from Green Bluffs
  • Creator: Alfred A. Hart, Carleton Watkins
  • Date: negative 1866 - 1869; print after 1870
  • Location Created: San Francisco, California, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: Mount: 8.6 x 17.5 cm (3 3/8 x 6 7/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Stereograph
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.XC.902.72
  • Markings: (Recto, mount) left edge: "WATKINS' PACIFIC RAILROAD,/ 22 and 26 Montgomery Street, opposite Lick House entrance, San Francisco" lower center: "154. American River, from Green Bluffs" right edge: "Photographic Views of California, Oregon, and the Pacific Coast generally - embracing/ Yo Semite, Big Trees, Geysers, Mount Shasta, Mining, City, etc., etc./ Views made to order in any part of the State or Coast." (Verso) lower right, red ink stamp: "The J. Paul Getty Museum/ Photographs" [in a circle]
  • Inscription: (Verso) upper right, in pencil: "$75/ #1293"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs


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