Amon Carter print details

Sunrise, Yosemite Valley

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)

Object Details

  • Date

    ca. 1870

  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    36 1/2 x 52 3/8 in.

  • Inscriptions


    l.r.: AB[monogram]ierstadt


    u.l. in ink under the tacking edge: 10 • 5 • 6[?] \ 23

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

Bierstadt described Yosemite as “the most magnificent place I was ever in.” He repeatedly painted imaginative landscapes based loosely on Yosemite’s soaring landmarks, garnering widespread public acclaim. In response to his rendering of the valley floor’s golden light, one critic remarked, “It looks as if it was painted in an Eldorado, in a distant land of gold; heard of in song and story; dreamed of but never seen. Yet it is real.”

Artists were among the first to promote Yosemite for its scenic grandeur, linking the region’s popular identity to its unique geological formations and downplaying its many historical connections to Indigenous peoples, namely the Ahwahnechee, whose ancestral ties to the valley date back thousands of years. Bierstadt’s romantic representations contributed to the public sentiment that certain parts of the United States should be set aside from natural resource extraction, prompting the federal government in 1890 to designate Yosemite as a national park.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by Albert Bierstadt


Educator Resources
  • How do artists create depth, light, and texture in landscape paintings?

    How does an artist provide viewers a sense of scale in an artwork?

    Which natural places in the United States attract artists and tourists? Why are they popular destinations?

    How might a work of art contribute to the preservation or destruction of land or the environment?

    How have American landscape paintings changed over time?

  • Grades 1–5

    Students will create a postcard. On the front of a piece of paper, they will draw their favorite part of the landscape. On the back, they will write about the adventures they experienced during their “visit” to this valley.

    Grades 4–8

    Activity 1
    Students will write a letter home from the perspective of someone seeing this landscape for the first time. They should be sure to describe the setting so that the reader can visualize the place clearly. Encourage students to include information about how they imagine the land being used, or not used, in the future.

    Activity 2
    Students will research the role artists played in documenting the West and how their artworks were integral to establishment of national parks.

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