Dialogue Among Giants: Carleton Watkins and the Rise of Photography in California

Dialogue among Giants on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center, October 14, 2008 - March 1, 2009 presents the work of San Francisco-based photographer Carleton Watkins in the context of the birth and early evolution of photography in California. The more than 150 works in the exhibition come from private collections and institutions across the country as well as the Getty Museum’s own extensive holdings of more than 1,700 pictures by Watkins.

The exhibition presents Watkins’s work, as it has never before been shown, in the context of his most important contemporaries. Organized thematically, the exhibition includes mammoth plate photographs Watkins made in Yosemite at the height of his career, panoramas of San Francisco, and photographs he made along the Pacific Coast and in Southern California. The exhibition also investigates Watkinss previously unknown early career as a daguerreotypist, finding the roots of his artistic vision in Californias Gold Rush era.


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