This is the first of two panoramas of San Francisco photographed by English-born landscape photographer, Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge arrived in San Francisco from Europe in 1855; he made his first panorama of the city in January 1877. Muybridge’s panorama was available in two formats: as a set of albumen photographs mounted on cabinet cards and as an album of 11 albumen photographs. This series of 11 photographs assembled into a seamless panorama shows a 360-degree view of the city. The long exposure time accurately captured buildings and ships in the bay, but not the people moving below on the street. Muybridge’s analytic and systematic vision was already taking form in these large-scale panoramas, an approach he pursued as his career developed.

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Eadweard Muybridge, English, 1830–1904
Panorama of San Francisco from California St. Hill
Albumen prints, mounted and joined on cloth and attached to front cover of cloth bound album
Sheet (average page/mount size): 12 1/8 × 8 3/16in. (30.8 × 20.8cm) Other (photographs): 7 5/16 × 8 9/16 in. (18.6 × 21.7 cm) Storage box: 5/8 × 12 5/8 × 9 in. (1.6 × 32.1 × 22.9 cm)
Credit Line

The Target Collection of American Photography, museum purchase funded by Target Stores

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

[The Witkin Gallery, Inc., New York]; purchased by MFAH, 1980.