Unattributed. [Yosemite Valley].
Washington: D.S. Norris & Co, 1873. Chromolithograph by Charles H. Crosby & Co., Boston. 14 x 20. On original canvas and in original wood frame. Some minor surface spotting. Overall, very good condition.
A lovely image of Yosemite Valley produced by the Charles Crosby's chromolithographic firm. Not as well-known as the more famous Boston firm of Louis Prang, Crosby had a similar business of producing chromolithographs intended to have the appearance of oil paintings so that the general public could hang "fine art" in their homes. Yosemite first came to the nation's consciousness in the 1850s and 60s, being set aside as park land in the Yosemite Grant of 1864, but with the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, this became a prime destination for those in the east. Naturally, this created an interest in images of this magnificent natural wonder, which was met by Crosby with this fine chromolithograph. The view is, as it happens, very similar to the Thomas Hill chromolithograph of Yosemite published by Prang in 1869, and it is not unlikely that Crosby's staff artist essentially copied Hill's image with some minor modifications. One reference gives the artist as C. Clarke, but no further information has been found on that artist. Whatever its source, it was prints like this, which would have hung in many post-Civil War homes, which helped form the image many Americans had of Yosemite.