The Gates of Yosemite

The Gates of Yosemite

From the 1914 volume Yosemite and its High Sierra by John H. Williams, the following passage is reproduced along with a large gatefold halftone (p. 16) of this monumental landscape photograph: The Gates of Yosemite by Arthur C. Pillsbury (1870–1946):

Soon, quitting the narrow, cluttered wildness of the lower river, the newcomer is face to face with the ordered peace and glory of Yosemite itself. Gratefully, silently, he breathes the very magic of the Enchanted Valley. For here, fully spread before him, is that combination of sylvan charm with stupendous natural phenomena which makes Yosemite unique among Earth’s great pictures. He sees the cañon’s level floor, telling of an ancient glacial lake that has given place to wide, grassy meadows; fields of glad mountain flowers; forests of many greens and lavenders; the fascination of the winding Merced, and, gleaming high above this world of gentle loveliness, the amazing gray face of El Capitan, while Pohono drops from a ‘hanging valley’ superbly sculptured, and so beautiful that he may well deem it the noblest setting Nature has given to any of her famous waterfalls. (p. 66)

Print notes/Condition: Imprinted within lower right margin of photograph recto: Pillsbury’s Pictures. No. 14406; .7cm loss of lower margin due to probable framing extending to center point of print; Keer’s framing order # in graphite at lower right corner of print margin: 2479 – (2)

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. Background: 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. The 1906 Board of Trade yearbook for the city of Newark now lists the firm as “Art Dealers” and located at 917 Broad St. in Newark; from at least 1910-15 they were 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 Gates of Yosemite

Image Dimensions26.4 x 34.1 | 27.2 x 35.0 cm glued to backing board (photograph believed to date c. 1906-1910)

Support Dimensions37.9 x 45.8 hardboard primary mount | frame: stained hardwood: 40.7 x 48.5 x 1.5 cm