The Rapids, Below the Suspension Bridge
ca. 1870 Charles Bierstadt Born: Solingen, Germany 1819 Died: Niagara Falls, New York 1903 albumen silver print sheet and image: 7 x 9 1/4 in. (17.8 x 23.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1994.91.25 Not currently on view
The Niagara suspension bridge spans more than eight hundred feet above one of the wildest parts of the Niagara River. Charles Bierstadt contrasted the solid, stable bridge with the wild chaos of the unruly river. Photographed at river level, the waters seem particularly threatening, adding energy to the scene. In order to create a single balanced image, Bierstadt probably used several negatives: one for the river, another for the bridge, and a third for the dramatic, billowing clouds.
A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013
Architecture - bridge
Landscape - waterfall - Niagara Falls
photography - photoprint