Cohoes Falls on Mohawk River, New York

Cohoes Falls.jpg
Cohoes Falls--cropped 2.jpg

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Cohoes Falls on Mohawk River, New York


Watercolor and graphite composition captures the 1,000-ft. wide falls two miles upstream from where Mohawk joins the Hudson River. The name may derive from the Mohawk phrase "a canoe falling"--a wry bit of humor. According to an 1813 description, the "river is seen gliding over a granitic rock, smoothed by its own operations, and bordered with rocky banks, supporting a sterile soil and a stinted growth of pine, hemlock, cedar and other evergreens, till it arrive at the fall, down which it pours at high water, in one sheet of near 70 feet: but at low water, descends, in excavated courses, some in cataracts, and some in oblique or zig-zag precipices, affording a most sublime and picturesque combination of bold force and violence" (Horatio Gates Spafford, A Gazetteer of the State of New-York, p. 170).

In 1831, the river was dammed for manufacturing purposes and its flow has been regulated since the 1930s, when it was converted for electricity generation.


Smith, John Rubens (1775-1849)




Cooper, Ken


Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1974, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Via Wikimedia Commons


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Still image

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

11.75 x 17.5 in.