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Gateway, Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak

While many early Western landscape photographers made topographical records, Jackson was one of the first to recognize the artistic and commercial potential of his imagery. He first visited this site in 1873, while associated with F. V. Hayden’s U. S. Geological Surveys of the Yellowstone River and Rocky Mountains. His majestic images from these trips—along with those of the landscape painter Thomas Moran—proved the existence of these scenic wonders and spurred a campaign to designate Yellowstone as our first national park.

In 1879 Jackson opened a commercial gallery in Denver and began taking commissions from mining and railway interests; the latter of which sought to promote tourism along rail routes. To meet this demand, he re-shot popular sites (such as this one), utilizing a new, easier, dry-plate printing process to create mammoth plates.

William Henry Jackson
American, 1843–1942
Gateway, Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak
after 1880
Mammoth-plate albumen print
Image/sheet: 17 1/16 x 21 ¼ in. (43.3 x 54.0 cm); mount: 19 3/16 x 23 3/8 in. (48.7 x 59.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 82.40.2