The Domes of Yosemite

The Domes of Yosemite

From the 1914 volume Yosemite and its High Sierra by John H. Williams, the main geologic feature of the rock outcropping at left (Merced River at center divides composition) in Arthur C. Pillsbury’s (1870–1946) composition The Domes of Yosemite is illustrated by an enlarged view from a similar vantage point by Pillsbury contemporary H.C. Tibbitts and described:

North Dome, Royal Arches and Washington Column, seen from the Merced River. The concentric formation in the granite, which is characteristic of the Yosemite region, is nowhere better shown. The imposing architectural aspect of this group, as if it were the ruins of some vast, decaying medieval cathedral, with crumbling arches and broken campanile, makes it the most interesting rock feature in the valley. (p. 8)

Print notes/Condition: Photograph and titled identified by known example sold at auction on July 2, 2006 at Livingston’s Auction of Oklahoma City, OK, USA: Lot #569 with descriptive details: PILLSBURY PICTURE CO. YOSEMITE PHOTOGRAPH  The Domes of Yosemite,  No.14236,  Size: 10 1/4” by 13 3/8”. Condition: small closed dimple tear within print along upper left margin.

Provenance:  Acquired by PhotoSeed in April, 2020 from a Kenilworth, NJ dealer, who believed they came from a wealthy Philadelphia estate. Part of a matched pair of Pillsbury photographs, they were framed c. 1915-20 by the important Newark, N.J. art dealers Frederick Keer’s Sons, located at 917 Broad St. On the verso of one of the frames when purchased was a partial Keer’s Sons label. “Newark museum trustee Frederick Keer quoted John Ruskin’s eulogies to “workmanship” in the promotional literature for his art gallery on Broad Street and promoted Tiffany lamps and glass, Rookwood pottery, and Stickley’s chairs as edifying” : From: Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era,  p. 25. From around the 1870’s, a known surviving stereoview image was imprinted: Frederick Keer “Books, Stationery, Drawing and Artists Materials, Engravings, American and Foreign Chromos 874 Broad Street, Newark, N.J.” From 1888-1899, Keer’s Sons sold photographic supplies at this same address. Around 1906 or before, the 1906 Board of Trade yearbook for the city of Newark listed the Keer’s firm as “Art Dealers” and now located at 917 Broad St. in Newark. From at least 1910-15, the firm was an authorized dealer in the pages of the Gustav Stickley Craftsman Furniture Catalogs. In 1909, Keer was a founding trustee for the Newark Museum.

The Domes of Yosemite

Image Dimensions25.5 x 33.6 cm (sight) glued to backing board (photograph believed to date c. 1906-1910)

Support Dimensions38.0 x 45.6 cm hardboard primary mount Frame: stained hardwood: 40.7 x 48.5 x 1.5 cm