During the late 70’s and early 80’s McPherson concentrated on New York City landscapes, primarily at night, creating a series of paintings and prints in the rare graphic medium of mezzotint. This includes the iconic image, “Yankee Stadium at Night.” His work has been described as “cinematic,” the night scenes likened to film noir. One curator, describing work from this period, wrote “McPherson is almost literally ‘sculpting with light’.” In 1983, McPherson had his first one-man exhibition at the A.M. Sachs Gallery on 57th Street in New York, where The New York Times critic Grace Glueck likened his paintings to those of the 17th Century Dutch master, Koninck.
Of all the pioneering landscape photographers of the American West, Carleton Watkins was among the earliest and most influential. An exhibition at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center, “Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums,” includes Watkins’ photographs from the 1860s and ’70s, which present spectacular views of pristine wilderness in the Yosemite Valley and on the Pacific Coast, as well as industrial development in Oregon and along the Columbia River.
Watkins moved west in 1849 during the gold rush and stumbled into a job at a portrait studio in San Francisco. After a few years, he struck out on his own, becoming a specialist in landscape photography when there was little competition and high demand. “If someone was paying him to go to a site he would take those photographs that were commissioned but he would also take some for himself. He was able to build up a stock of images of this gorgeous area that people had only heard about in the news. When those images got to the east his career took off,” said Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, who co-curated the exhibition.