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Photographing Nature’s Cathedrals:
Carleton E. Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and H. H. Bennett

May 18–August 26, 2018
Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts

Photographing Nature’s Cathedrals presents American landscape photographs by three nineteenth-century artists who used mammoth plate prints, panoramas, and stereographs—the cutting-edge photographic technology of their time—to capture the natural wonders of the country. The photographs on view helped create the myth of the Edenic American West, attracted tourists to the unusual formations in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, and inspired the creation of Yosemite National Park.

This exhibition is part of the Museum’s season exploring technology and innovation and features the work of photographers Carleton E. Watkins (American, 1829–1916), Eadweard Muybridge (American, b. England, 1830–1904), and Henry Hamilton Bennett (American, b. Canada, 1843–1908).

Organized, in part, from the collection of the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Presenting Sponsor: In Memory of Joan W. Nason
Supporting Sponsor: James A. Schleif and William H. Morley
Exhibitions in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts sponsored by: Herzfeld Foundation and Madeleine and David Lubar

Programs + Events

Gallery Talk: The American Landscape in Photographs and Paintings

Tuesday, August 21, 1:30 PM

Explore how photography in the nineteenth century helped bring the natural wonders of America to the attention of the country and the world, in Photographing Nature's Cathedrals, with Ariel Pate, Assistant Curator of Photography.

Nineteenth-century photographers and painters often portrayed the same scenes, and their art forms informed each other’s work. Ariel Pate, assistant curator of photography, and Brandon Ruud, Abert Family Curator of American Art, will give a tour looking at the photographs of Carleton Watkins and Thomas Hill’s Merced River, Yosemite Valley (1896) from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts
Free for Members
Free with Museum admission

Member Drink & Think: Family Pictures

Thursday, September 20, 5:30 PM
Images:
  • Eadweard Muybridge, Piwyack. Valley of the Yosemite, 1872. Courtesy of the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries
  • Eadweard Muybridge, Falls of the Yosemite, 1872. Courtesy of the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries.
  • Carleton E. Watkins, Yosemite Valley from the “Best General View”, 1866. Courtesy of the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries
  • Carleton E. Watkins, The Half Dome from Glacier Pt., Yosemite, 1865–66. Courtesy of the American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries