Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - In Granite Canon

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Image of In Granite Canon

William Henry Jackson , (Apr 4, 1843–Jun 30, 1942)

In Granite Canon

4 1/8 in. x 7 3/16 in. (10.48 cm x 18.26 cm)

Medium and Support: Albumen print
Credit Line: museum purchase
Accession Number: 1976.48


Railroads and photography revolutionized the 19th century in similar ways. Rail travel sped up the pace of modern life by collapsing distance and time and making whole areas of the country accessible for cultivation, settlement, and tourism. Photography shrank distances by depicting faraway places, allowing anyone to become an armchair traveler. The railroads recognized the marketing potential of photography and put photographers on their payrolls.
William Henry Jackson’s image of tracks powerfully cutting through granite, yet gently curving into the distance was made for the Union Pacific Railroad to attract passengers. The photograph boasts the integration of nature and technology and hails the railroad as part of the march of progress.

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