Among the Treetops, Calaveras Grove

Carleton Watkinsnegative 1878; print 1880 - 1890

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In a letter to a friend, Carlton Watkins expressed feelings of pride about the landscape images he took following his 1876 lawsuit and subsequent bankruptcy: "Everybody says [the new photographs] are better, softer, more artistic, etc." After twenty years as a photographer, his mature aesthetic and technical skills seem to have provided Watkins with a sense of confidence, encouraging more experimental approaches to his work. Although the visual concept expressed in this image seems commonplace today, viewpoints such as this did not become popular until after 1900. Watkins had to place his 18 x 22-inch camera on its back to achieve this study of treetops reaching up to the heavens.

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  • Title: Among the Treetops, Calaveras Grove
  • Creator: Carleton Watkins
  • Date: negative 1878; print 1880 - 1890
  • Location Created: California, United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 12.9 x 8.9 cm (5 1/16 x 3 1/2 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.XO.250.76
  • Inscription: (Verso) inscribed in pencil, at lower center, by an unknown hand: "Among the Tree Tops / Calaveras Grove."
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs