Creating the West: the Photography of Carleton Watkins

Critic and podcast host Tyler Green explores the life of the great American photographer whose work helped to invent the American West.

Widely considered to be the most important American photographer of the nineteenth century, Carleton Watkins is best known for his pictures of Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. When his photographs were exhibited in New York in 1862, they played a key role in tying the West to the Union, and would eventually inspire Congress to pass legislation to preserve Yosemite as a park—the first act of landscape preservation in the world. The work helped drive the great Westward expansion of American capital, as Watkins’s friends and patrons—many of them titans of the Gilded Age—were inspired by the beauty and promise of his images.

Drawing on recent scholarship and fresh archival discoveries, Tyler Green reveals how the artist didn’t just reflect his time, but acted as an agent of influence. He will discuss Carleton Watkins: Making the West American with MoMA curator of photography, Sarah Meister.











When: Tue., January 22, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Where: New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Ave.
917-275-6975
Price: Free
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Critic and podcast host Tyler Green explores the life of the great American photographer whose work helped to invent the American West.

Widely considered to be the most important American photographer of the nineteenth century, Carleton Watkins is best known for his pictures of Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. When his photographs were exhibited in New York in 1862, they played a key role in tying the West to the Union, and would eventually inspire Congress to pass legislation to preserve Yosemite as a park—the first act of landscape preservation in the world. The work helped drive the great Westward expansion of American capital, as Watkins’s friends and patrons—many of them titans of the Gilded Age—were inspired by the beauty and promise of his images.

Drawing on recent scholarship and fresh archival discoveries, Tyler Green reveals how the artist didn’t just reflect his time, but acted as an agent of influence. He will discuss Carleton Watkins: Making the West American with MoMA curator of photography, Sarah Meister.

Buy tickets/get more info now