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Eadweard Muybridge

Valley of the Yosemite from Union Point
1872
albumen print
17 x 21 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Charles T. Isaacs

A rugged spire of rock in the foreground of Muybridge’s Yosemite view gives this picture a spectacular sense of vertigo that, in the nineteenth century, made it all the more appealing to audiences already entranced with the West’s scenic wonders. Muybridge was renowned for lugging his unwieldy equipment over treacherous trails to precipitous vantage points in order to capture the perfect never-before-seen view.