This Autochrome screen plate was taken by Fred Payne Clatworthy (1875-1953) in one of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in 1921 . The image depicts an unidentified man in the Spruce Tree House ruin. The man sits on a striped blanket draped over a sandstone brick wall. He wears a blue shirt and red pants. The architectural structures of Spruce Three House are visible behind him.
Fred Payne Clatworthy was a photographer and public lecturer who worked mostly out of Estes Parkc, Colorado during the first half of the twentieth century. Clatworthy was known for his mastery of the Autochrome screen plate, an early color photography format. In exchange for image use rights to Clatworthy's Autochromes, railways and transportation companies often sent him on all-expenses-paid photo assignments to various locations. In addition, approximately 100 of Clatworthy's Autochromes appeared in the pages of National Geographic Magazine between 1923 and 1934. From 1917 to 1934, Clatworthy regularly toured the United States, presenting Autochromes to the public in slide lectures. Some of his most notable venues included the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and Carnegie Museum. Between Clatworthy’s lectures and published images, his work was seen by over ten million people in over 160 countries. Clatworthy also served as the official photographer for the Stanley Hotel, Covenant Heights, and the Rocky Mountain Young Men's Christian Association during the early half of the twentieth century. In addition to his photography work, Clatworthy also had several business interests in the Estes Park area including "Ye Littel Shop,," a curio store that sold furniture, produce, Kodak cameras, film, and Clatworthy’s own images of the area. This image is part of the Fred Payne Clatworthy collection (Ph.00560). This image is a digital surrogate; the appearance of the original object may vary.