Although born in Canada, George Barker moved to Niagara Falls, New York, in the early 1860s and eventually earned fame for mammoth-plate photographs that viscerally conveyed the scale and sublime nature of the falls. Adding a bit of his own artistry to nature’s handiwork, Barker frequently printed dramatic clouds from a second negative, as in this particularly strong and well-preserved print. Visitors to the Cave of the Winds, we are told in a guidebook of the period, passed the huge “Rock of Ages” (seen here in the foreground) and descended along “rough wooden bridges, through clouds of spray . . . [and] little pools among the rocks, where miniature Niagaras form plunge baths unequaled anywhere.”

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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George Barker, Canadian, 1844–1894
Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls
c. 1890
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 19 7/16 × 16 in. (49.4 × 40.6 cm) Sheet: 19 7/16 × 16 in. (49.4 × 40.6 cm) Mount: 27 1/4 × 20 3/4 in. (69.2 × 52.7 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Krista and Michael Dumas

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

[Swann Galleries, New York, May 15, 2008, lot 269]; private collector; [Alan Klotz Gallery, New York]; purchased by MFAH, 2016.