The J. Paul Getty Museum

[Portrait of a Couple at Niagara Falls in Waterproof Clothing]

Object Details

Title:

[Portrait of a Couple at Niagara Falls in Waterproof Clothing]

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to Henry Hollister (Canadian, active about 1840 - 1860)

Culture:

Canadian

Date:

1860s

Medium:

Ambrotype

Object Number:

84.XT.818.15

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Object Description

Is it a honeymoon reverie that has brought this stalwart young couple precariously close to the edge of the falls, posing gamely for the photographer in their waterproof slickers? Taken from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and showing the spectacular cliff, Henry Hollister's portrait positions its subjects so that they are framed by the brilliant white foamy spray as the falls stream downward in silvery sheets. The man stands in partial shadow behind his companion, his hand placed firmly on her shoulder as if to steady and comfort her. The balled-up left fist lying in her lap suggests that she was not entirely at ease with their vertiginous positioning, but a tentative smile reveals her to be at least a good sport.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1984

Samuel Wagstaff, Jr., American, 1921 - 1987, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Capturing Light: The Science of Photography

Lesson in which students create pinhole cameras, analyze a nineteenth-century photograph, and use their cameras to capture buildings.

Visual Arts; Science

6-8

Three/Five-Part Lesson

Capturing Light: The Science of Photography

Lesson in which students create pinhole cameras. They analyze a photograph and shoot and develop photographs made with pinhole cameras.

Visual Arts; Science

9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson