Yosemite | Hudson River School

The American West: Yosemite

In 1855, entrepreneur James Mason Hutchings and the artist Thomas Ayres were two of the first white explorers to tour the Yosemite Valley area and to publicize their efforts. During the 1860s, Yosemite became a prominent tourist destination.

Albert Bierstadt is one of the artists most associated with Yosemite. His grand, luminous visions of a vast, unspoiled, and resource-rich territory, were crucial in introducing Yosemite to the public consciousness. His works are found in numerous important collections: Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Park (ca. 1868), is now in the collection of the Oakland Museum; Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point Trail (1834) is housed in the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; and Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley (ca. 1872) and Gates of the Yosemite (ca. 1882) can be found at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.


Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Yosemite Valley, 1868
Oil on canvas, 36 x 54 inches
Collection Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, Gift of Miss Marguerite Laird in memory of Mr. and Mrs. P.W. Laird, A64.26

 


Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point Trail, ca. 1873
Oil on canvas, 54 x 84¾ inches
Collection Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, Gift of Mrs. Vincenzo Ardenghi, 1931.389

 


Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley, ca. 1872
Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 14 x 20 inches (approx.)
Collection Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, Bequest of Marvin J. and Shirley F. Sonosky in memory of Harryette Cohn, 2006.1.2

 


Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Gates of Yosemite, ca. 1882
Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 14 x 20 inches (approx.)
Collection Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, Bequest of Marvin J. and Shirley F. Sonosky in memory of Harryette Cohn, 2006.1.1