The 2012 Kraszna-Karusz Best Photography Book Award was given to Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Getty Publications, $195.00, hardcover) at the Sony Photo Awards in London on April 26.
The extraordinary body of work produced by photographer Carleton Watkins (1829–1916) between 1858 and 1891 constitutes one of the longest and most productive careers in nineteenth-century American photography. This groundbreaking volume reproduces the images from the nearly thirteen hundred “mammoth” (18 x 22 inch) glass-plate negatives he produced, the majority of which exist in only one surviving print. Of these, fewer than three hundred have been previously reproduced or exhibited.
Authors Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis drew on the major collections of Watkins prints at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and numerous smaller collections, and assembled and catalogued all of Watkins’s known mammoth-plate photographs. These include views of Yosemite, San Francisco, and the Pacific Coast, as well as railroads, mines, and lumber mills throughout the west. The work will contribute not only to a fuller understanding of this pioneering photographer but also portray the barely explored frontier in its final moments of pristine beauty. The catalogue is organized by region and includes an inventory of Watkins’s negatives and an illustrated guide to his signatures, both of value to scholars, collectors, and dealers.
About the Authors—Weston Naef is curator emeritus in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Christine Hult-Lewis is an independent scholar based in San Francisco.
The Complete Mammoth Photographs
Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis
J. Paul Getty Museum
608 pages, 9 ¾ x 12 1/2 inches, hardcover
1,351 duotone illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-005-6, $195.00 [UK £125.00]
Publication Date: November 15, 2011