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In a confluence of forces unique in time and place, California after 1849 played host both to the growth of a new and exciting landscape and culture and to important developments in the world’s newest visual medium: photography. Among the most significant practitioners of this new art was the San Francisco firm of Lawrence & Houseworth, established in 1852. For some forty years the firm was the premier source in the West for landscapes, portraits and stereographs. Its three-volume set of images, used for the selection of prints by its customers, is one of the treasures of the rich collections of The Society of California Pioneers. The albums are, in the words of Gary Kurutz, ”without doubt the finest single pictorial record of the maturation of Northern California and the Pacific Coast following the rambunctious days of the Gold Rush and statehood.”

Thomas Weston Fels
Co-author, Watkins to Weston: 101 Years of California Photography

101 Montgomery St. Suite 150, Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129
Tel: (415) 957-1849

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Funding for this databse was made possible by an LSTA grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and administered by the California State Librarian.