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The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York

ca. 1862 Homer Dodge Martin Born: Albany, New York 1836 Died: St. Paul, Minnesota 1897 oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard 30 1/8 x 50 in. (76.5 x 127.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of William T. Evans 1910.9.11 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing

Gallery Label

The iron-ore bed in Craig Harbor near Port Henry, New York, was one of the richest veins in the northeast. Earlier artists had pictured America's mountain peaks and virgin forests, but by midcentury, the railroads, mines, and oil fields were the new and exciting scenes to paint. From a mineshaft that looks like a bleeding wound, tailings stream down the side of the cliff to the water, where ore was loaded onto barges. Nearby were the blast furnaces of the Bay State Iron Mine Company, which supplied the steel for America's railroads. Railways in turn carried more raw materials to the nation's burgeoning factories. Painted during the Civil War, Martin's canvas quietly asserted the primacy of the North, whose strength lay in its natural resources and manufacturing.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Research Notes

Read research notes for The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York. (pdf)


Architecture - industry - mine

Landscape - New York - Port Henry

Landscape - water


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

fiberboard - support added

About Homer Dodge Martin

Born: Albany, New York 1836 Died: St. Paul, Minnesota 1897

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Homer Dodge Martin

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