Peaks and perils: The life of Carleton Watkins


In the 1860s Carleton Watkins loaded a team of mules with his mammoth-plate camera and glass negatives and ventured into Yosemite Valley. The pictures he made there helped lay the foundation for American landscape photography, before the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 destroyed much of his life’s work. Delve into the extraordinary tale of an artist nearly obliterated from history.


Cite this page as: SFMOMA, "Peaks and perils: The life of Carleton Watkins," in Smarthistory, November 19, 2021, accessed June 10, 2024,