Object Image

Cañon of Kanab Wash, Colorado River, Looking South

From an awkward position under a massive overhang, William Bell maneuvered his large unwieldy camera to capture the dramatic play of light and shadow on the limestone wall of the opposite cliff. Bell made this photograph while working on Lieutenant George Wheeler's Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian. His photographs can often be distinguished from those of other survey photographers by the contrast between a strong dark element in the foreground and lighter tones that recede into the distance.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013

Credit: Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Fran...

1872
Albumen silver print
27.6 x 20.0cm
1994.91.9
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2023

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