The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York

Media - 1910.9.11 - SAAM-1910.9.11_1 - 160
Copied Homer Dodge Martin, The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York, ca. 1862, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, 30 1850 in. (76.5127.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans, 1910.9.11
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York
ca. 1862
30 1850 in. (76.5127.0 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of William T. Evans
Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
  • Landscape
  • Architecture — industry — mine
  • Landscape — water
  • Landscape — New York — Port Henry
Object Number
Research Notes

Artwork Description

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