Niagara Gazette — Tourists were bound to grasp a better sense of Niagara's natural attraction from Thomas Cole's breathtaking "A Distant View of the Falls of Niagara (1834)," also featured at the Castellani exhibit.
An eye-catching work is Alexander Wilson's "The Foresters: A Poem Descriptive of a Pedestrian Journey to the Falls of Niagara in 1804, 1838." A number of William Henry Bartlett's hand colored etchings (e.g. "View Below Table Rock") enhance the poet's contributions.
One sketch you shouldn't miss: "Save Niagara from This ...," a lithograph from Puck (1906), featuring a humorous British slant on the carnival along the gorge, some 20 years after the newly-established Niagara Falls State Park was to eliminate the honky-tonk atmosphere. It's ironic that it features a tightrope artist walking across the top of the falls, a stunt that Nik Wallenda would perform 106 years later. There's also a "Suicide Leap" from what is now Prospect Point and a number of tourists riding barrels over the 180-foot American Falls with the smoke-belching factories in the background.
As part of the free programs during the exhibit, Giannetti will present a reading and interpretation of the 19 Century comic masterpiece: The Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque," from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the gallery.
Kate Koperski, director of the Castellani museum, said earlier that "richly illustrated books, maps and travel guides and skillfully rendered prints all helped to attract visitors to the Niagara region." It was after the War of 1812, she noted, when former battlefields and war monuments were added to the list of area attractions.
In addition to Giannetti, the exhibit organizers included Ms. Koperski; Michael Beam, curator of collections and exhibitions at Castellani, and Dr. Thomas Chambers, chair of the Niagara University Department of History.
Funding for the programs was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, the state Legislature, the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council, the Canadian Consulate General and Old Glory Flag & Banner, a division of Cooper Sign Co.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Additional information is available by calling 286-8200.