Content: 46 albumen prints (2 are duplicates) approx. 400 x 525 mm. 36 are signed "C.E. Watkins", 10 are numbered, titled and signed "Taber Photo. San Francisco"
Biographical/historical: With the birth of photography in 1839, cameras began to accompany explorers everywhere, including the American west. However, technical shortcomings required skilled draughtsmen to translate the earliest camera images into conventional reproductive prints for publication or distribution. Not until the 1860s was the first practical paper photographs of the West achieved by rival camera artists Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916) and Charles L. Weed (1824-1903). Their mammoth albumen prints of California's Yosemite Valley were exhibited and published internationally, introducing the grandeur of the West, and its otherworldliness, with the realism granted by photography.