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Rochester & Western New York Views

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Main Street Bridge, Rochester

26 1/4 x 36 in. (66.7 x 91.4 cm)

Colin Campbell Cooper
American (Philadelphia, PA, 1856 - 1937, Santa Barbara, CA)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Hiram W. Sibley
Accession Number: 1926.20
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Rochester's Main Street crosses the Genesee River on a bridge connecting the east and west sides of the city. Until the 1960s, commercial buildings like the ones in this painting flanked north and south sides of the bridge, effectively hiding the river below. Since 1989, the bridge has been elegantly ornamented by Albert Paley’s steel railings, framing a dramatic view of the rushing Genesee.

In 1911, Colin Campbell Cooper wrote:

"Mrs. Cooper [painter Emma Lampert Cooper] says that the Main Street Bridge picture, whenever it has been shown at art exhibitions, has attracted much attention, because people are surprised that such a foreign looking place can be found in America…People always compare it with the Ponte Vecchio at Florence, which rather proves my assertion that 'any old thing' is good enough when the sun falls on it right."

[Gallery label text, 2007]

Artist's signature, lower left: Colin Campbell Cooper, 1908

Artist; Hiram W. Sibley, Rochester, NY; given to the Gallery in 1926

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on Colin Campbell Cooper's Main Street Bridge, Rochester, written by Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck.
Main Street Bridge over the Genesee River 1890 image of Main Street Bridge, from the Rochester Images Project, direct url =

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