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Mono Lake, Volcano, 13,000 Feet

A work made of albumen print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen print.




Timothy O’Sullivan
American, born Ireland, 1840–1882

About this artwork

Timothy O’Sullivan is acclaimed for landscape photographs of the American West that are bleak and subtle, seemingly more in step with a modernist aesthetic than with the period in which they were made. After establishing his reputation documenting the Civil War under Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, O’Sullivan served as official photographer for the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel, under geologist Clarence King. Covering a 200-mile swath of land along the path of the coming transcontinental railroad, from the California-Nevada border to Cheyenne, Wyoming, the survey had scientific objectives but was also followed closely by the interests behind the railroad and those who sought to profit from the region’s mineral resources. The pictures O’Sullivan produced on the King’s survey contrast with the majestic western landscapes made by his contemporaries; he often emphasized the desolate emptiness of expanses of land, as in this image of the shallow, saline Mono Lake.


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Photography and Media


Timothy O'Sullivan


Mono Lake, Volcano, 13,000 Feet


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1868


Albumen print


Image/paper: 22 × 29 cm (8 11/16 × 11 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Smart Family Acquisition Fund

Reference Number


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