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CHARLES BIERSTADT
New Bedford, Massachusetts, Niagara Falls, New York

The older brother of legendary artist Albert Bierstadt, Charles and a third brother, Edward, had established a thriving photography business in New York City by the early 1860s. Charles later moved the business to Niagara Falls, taking photographs of the falls to sell as mementos to tourists.

Today the most common Bierstadtís views are those he shot of Niagara Falls. He also issued a series of Rogersís Groups (1868) and "skeleton leaves." He journeyed west in 1873 and made many views in California, including the Sierra Madres and Yosemite Valley. He later visited the Holy Land and North Africa and made approximately 250 negatives there. He returned west in 1882 and stereoed the Grinnell, Iowa tornado damage and the new Iowa State capitol building in Des Moines. He also made a few views in Colorado during that trip.

Bierstadt's Yellowstone history is quite a bit muddled. It appears that he visited the park during his 1882 western excursion. The length of his stay is unknown but it seems that while in the park, he visited the Hoodoo Basin (possibly with H. B. Calfee as they were the only two photographers to stereoview that part of Yellowstone). There is also an important connection between Bierstadt and T.W. Ingersoll. Many of Ingersollís early and most important views are identical to Bierstadtís. But who took them? In all likelihood, Bierstadt was shooting negatives for Ingersoll, or sold them to him later. Stereoviews crediting Bierstadt himself did not appear until the late 1890ís over 15 years after his Yellowstone visit.

In the late 1880's, Underwood and Underwood became the official distributor for Charles Bierstadt views and issued them until about 1900. During this time Yellowstone stereoviews were finally released crediting Bierstadt as photographer. This may have been because his Ingersoll contract had expired. Whatever the reason, he now issued these views through Underwood and Underwood on regular sized, tan mounts. Curiously, this short lived partnership must have ended quickly because the same Yellowstone series was re-issued, only this time with a Bierstadt credit-strip plainly pasted over the Underwood and Underwood credit line. It is also interesting to note that the numbers on Bierstadtís Yellowstone views correspond exactly to the T.W. Ingersoll numbers from the previous decade.


Paul Rubinstein Collection

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.
1310 VIEWING GARDNER FALLS FROM ADMIRATION POINT

This stereoview of men viewing Osprey Falls shows the Underwood & Underwood style of Bierstadt view. It was issued in the late 1890's and credits Underwood on the right side. The negative number and view are identical to one produced by T. W. Ingersoll for his Brown Letter series of the mid-1880's.


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.
1290 A GLYMPSE OF THE UPPER FALLS OF Y.R.

This shot of a distant Upper Falls is an example of the last issue type by Charles Bierstadt. Notice the brown Bierstadt publisher strip on the right side. It covers the Underwood & Underwood credit line.


CHARLES BIERSTADT VIEWLIST


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