Sunrise, Yosemite Valley
Oil on canvas
36 1/2 x 52 3/8 in.
u.l. in ink under the tacking edge: 10 • 5 • 6[?] \ 23
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
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)
From Remington to O’Keeffe: The Carter’s Greatest HitsOctober 6, 2018–March 22, 2019
During the renovation, this exhibition features highlights from the permanent collection, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures, by some of America’s most renowned artists.
The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark DionFebruary 8–July 5, 2020
Part explorer, part historian, and part naturalist, artist Mark Dion retraces the footsteps of several 19th-century Texas explorers, collecting materials to form an exhibition that enhances our understanding of the past and brings it to life in the present day.