Mark Klett: Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill

Mark Klett’s Panorama of San Francisco from California Street Hill, 1990 will be exhibited alongside Eadweard Muybridge’s celebrated 1877 panorama made from the same sight. The inspiration for this project was the gallery’s acquisition last year of Eadweard Muybridge’s exceedingly rare thirteen-panel mammoth plate panorama of San Francisco made from the top of the Mark Hopkins mansion. Mark Klett’s earliest photographic project included the re-photographing of important nineteenth century landscapes made by photographers in the early years of the medium. This involved seeing the exact locations and re-photographing them on the exact date at the exact time of day as it was first photographed by such masters as Timothy O’Sullivan, Carleton Watkins and William Henry Jackson. The project allowed Klett and his audience to see how the land had changed or, in some cases, how it had not. In this way, it was as if Klett studied directly under the great photographers and figuratively “stood” in their shoes.

On April 12, 1990 Mark Klett stood on the terraces of the 16th floor of the Mark Hopkins Inter-Continental Hotel and re-photographed the city 112 years after Muybridge. The resulting study as seen in thirteen panels is on exhibit at Fraenkel Gallery and comprises the limited edition portfolio which the gallery has recently published.

Concurrent with the publication of the portfolio, is the new Bedford Arts publication of One City: Two Visions, an accordion-fold book which illustrates back-to-back, Muybridge’s and Klett’s views of the city. The publication date is appropriately October 17, 1990, the one-year anniversary of San Francisco’s 7.1 earthquake.