The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens has acquired a rare, intact Carleton Watkins album of the Sunny Slope farm and distillery. The album, which dates to the 1880s, includes 27 circular photographs that measure five inches in diameter on six-and-a-half-inch-square paper. Intact Watkins albums are rare, and a number of albums have been broken up in recent years. The Huntington album seems to be the only known intact album of Watkins’ circular prints.
“It’s so unusual, so rare,” Huntington photography curator Jennifer Watts said. “Basically through neglect there may be some Watkins albums that are still out there. I can’t think of another album like this that I’ve seen. There’s certainly never been an example here going back many decades.”
The album was just acquired for the Huntington Library by its photography curator, Watkins expert Jennifer A. Watts. In December, 2011, Watts came on Episode No. 8 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast to talk with Green about the last major event in Watkins scholarship: The publishing of a catalogue raisonne of Watkins’ mammoth-plate prints.
Read more: Today on Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green tells the story behind this album and details some of the reasons the pictures are fantastic.
Hear from Watts: Download Episode No. 8 of The MAN Podcast to your PC/mobile device. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher or RSS. See images of works discussed on the show.