From: Smithsonian Art Museum
Charles L. Weed
Also Known as: Charles Leander Weed
New York, New York 1824
Oakland, California 1903
Hong Kong, China
Weed, who moved west to Sacramento, California, in 1854, made his first photographs of the Yosemite region in 1859. His mammoth-plate views of the valley however, were not made until 1865, possibly with Eadweard Muybridge working as his assistant. Employed by Lawrence and Houseworth, a photographic publishing firm, Weed produced views for a growing audience of tourists who had been exploring the Yosemite Valley since the mid-1850s.
Weed's photograph of Mirror Lake, is, in fact, two landscapes: the sharp silhouette of mountain and tree line and a dreamier rendering of this subject reflected in the water. [Mirror Lake and Reflections …, SAAM, 1994.89.5] The sharp line of a dead tree branch defines the difference between "real" and "reflection." Both, however, convey the nineteenth-century reverence for sublime beauty.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)