Falls lower right – woods to left. Tower and bridge at center of image. People on bridge walking over falls. Night scene. Duplicate title, but day scene – 2004.D03.286 (FAC# 4458)
Renowned for its enormity and beauty, Niagara Falls was a popular and celebrated natural wonder during the 19th century. Until 1912, visitors to the Falls were permitted to walk on an ice bridge that formed in the winter in order to better view the powerful water flow. A local newspaper reported that on February 24, 1888, at least 20,000 people visited the Falls in order to gaze at the water or sled on the ice. Many Hudson River School artists, including Frederic Church, painted Niagara Falls to celebrate the splendor and uniqueness of the American landscape. Currier & Ives, responding to visitors demands for souvenir images, printed a number of versions of the Falls, including this night-time scene. For those images that were most popular, such as scenes of Niagara Falls, the firm often reworked and reissued a lithograph. Here, the artist has hand-colored the image to create a night view and added a full moon into the sky to illuminate the water below.