Amon Carter print details

Tower of Babel, Garden of the Gods

William Henry Jackson (1843-1942)

Object Details

  • Date

    1880s

  • Object Type

    Photographs

  • Medium

    Albumen silver print

  • Object Format

    Mammoth plate

  • Dimensions

    Image: 17 x 21 1/4 in.
    Sheet: 17 x 21 1/4 in.
    Mount: 26 3/4 x 28 1/8 in.

  • Inscriptions

    Recto:

    l.l. printed in negative: 1007. TOWER OF BABLE [sic]. GARDEN OF THE GODS

    l.r. printed in negative: W.H. JACKSON & CO. PHOT. DENVER

    Verso, 1st Mount:

    l.l. in graphite: WHJ. 105. X

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number

    P1981.47.2

  • Copyright

    Public domain

Additional details

Location: Off view
W28-artist-CMYK-CarterBlack
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Educator Resources
  • Why are land and the landscape so important to the national identity of the United States?

    How do artists determine which geographical features should be highlighted in portrayals of a nation?

    What is the role of photography in the American landscape tradition?

    What artistic choices does a photographer make when creating an image?

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

    How have artists in different time periods viewed and depicted the American landscape?

  • Describe what you see here. What can you tell about the place that the photographer is in?

    What do you think the artist was interested in showing us when he took this photograph? Notice the small figure to the left of the rock formation. Why might the photographer have chosen to include him?

    William Henry Jackson was hired by a railroad company to take promotional photographs, including the one that we see here. In what ways is this photograph an advertisement for the railroad? (For older students, be sure to emphasize that the railroad also represented travel, tourism, adventure, the West, etc.)

    What might have been the artist’s purpose in creating this landscape in the manner that he did? What decisions has the artist made about the production of his photographs? (William Henry Jackson’s photo is a composite of three different photographs. In order to achieve a range of light and dark, different exposure times were required.)

    This image is approximately 21-by-17 inches, a “mammoth plate,” which is very large for the time. How does the size of this photograph affect the viewer’s experience? View this photograph on Google Arts & Culture for closer looking.

    These mammoth plate photographs required large cameras and delicate darkroom equipment that had to be transported with the photographer in wagons or on horses. Why would that be worth it to create large print photographs? Would mammoth plate photographs be equally effective in representing portraits as landscape?

    Aside from being an advertisement, what other purpose might this photograph have served? Does it say anything about settlement? Conservation?

  • All Levels

    Students will research local parks or landmarks in their community and create an advertisement to encourage more people to visit the area. Students may choose to visit the site to photograph or create a work of art in their preferred medium.

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This information is published from the Carter's collection database. Updates and additions based on research and imaging activities are ongoing. The images, titles, and inscriptions are products of their time and are presented here as documentation, not as a reflection of the Carter’s values. If you have corrections or additional information about this object please email us to help us improve our records.

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