Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls

George Barkerc. 1890

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Although born in Canada, George Barker moved to Niagara Falls, New York, in the early 1860s and eventually earned fame for mammoth-plate photographs that viscerally conveyed the scale and sublime nature of the falls. Adding a bit of his own artistry to nature’s handiwork, Barker frequently printed dramatic clouds from a second negative, as in this particularly strong and well-preserved print. Visitors to the Cave of the Winds, we are told in a guidebook of the period, passed the huge “Rock of Ages” (seen here in the foreground) and descended along “rough wooden bridges, through clouds of spray . . . [and] little pools among the rocks, where miniature Niagaras form plunge baths unequaled anywhere.”

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  • Title: Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls
  • Creator: George Barker
  • Date: c. 1890
  • Physical Dimensions: w40.6 x h49.4 cm (image/sheet)
  • Type: Photographs
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the S. I. Morris Photography Endowment

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