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Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916) was one of the most highly acclaimed of early western photographers, yet Watkins's work has never been fully cataloged. No complete listings of his "Old Series" stereoviews, published before 1875, are known. This site brings together complete collections of Watkins's photographs.
Watkins extensively photographed early San Francisco, Yosemite, Mendocino, New Almaden and the Sierra Nevada mining regions. He also made some of the earliest photographs of Southern California and the Pacific Nortwest. Watkins' Pacific Railroad series documents construction of the trans-continental railroad from Sacramento to Utah.
CarletonWatkins.org is made possible by many institutions and private collectors with a common interest in the work of Carleton Watkins and the desire to make his complete work readily available to all.
Begin by visiting the Featured Photographs gallery to see examples of Watkins's best photographs or go directly to the series collections for a more complete view of Watkins's work. The series collections are grouped by year, 1850-1860 (Watkins's earliest photographs), 1861-1873 (Watkins' "Old" Series) and 1874-1890 (Watkins' New Series).
We hope you enjoy this compilation of California and the West in its early years.
Click on this link to learn about the new navigation and content on CarletonWatkins.org.
Learn about Watkins life and his incredible contribution to Western photography in the nineteenth century. Watkins producted over five thousand photographs during his career and his work was widely recognized.
Palmquist began the task of compiling Watkins stereoview titles during the 1970's but much more remains to be done. This website continues the goal of cataloging and displaying Carleton Watkins photographs.
Modern Art Notes reviews this new mammoth print catalogue raisonné from Getty Publications.