Yo-semite Valley, from the Mariposa Trail. Mariposa County, Cal.
1864, printed ca. 1867
Albumen silver print
Image: 15 11/16 x 20 3/8 in.
Mount: 19 5/8 x 23 1/2 in.
inscribed: Thomas Houseworth & Co., Publishers, \ 317-319 Montgomery St., San Francisco. \ Yo-Semite Valley, from the Mariposa Trail. \ Mariposa County, Cal. \ No. 1.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter, Jr. Memorial Fund purchase
Weed is considered the first photographer to document Yosemite, a valley called Ahwahnee (“gaping mouth-like place”) by its Indigenous inhabitants, the Ahwahnechee. After the discovery of gold in the area, a California militia and the U.S. Army warred with the Ahwahnechee in an ultimately successful attempt to dispossess them of their land.
Weed moved to Sacramento soon after. He first ventured into Yosemite in 1859 and, a few years later, made mammoth-plate views like this one using the albumen process, which produced clear images able to be printed multiple times. Here he has captured the scope of the landscape, emphasizing the height of the pine—from the figure at its base to its apex—and the breadth and depth of the valley. In 1867 this and other views of Yosemite by Weed and Carleton Watkins earned bronze medals at the Paris International Exposition.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023).