Nov 18, 2020
Nov 18, 2020

This is the Cuyahoga River which flows through Cleveland, Ohio. On June 22, 1969 the river caught fire. It was not a big fire. But it was large enough to ignite the environmental movement that led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agen

This is the Cuyahoga River which flows through Cleveland, Ohio. On June 22, 1969 the river caught fire. It was not a big fire. But it was large enough to ignite the environmental movement that led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.

1970, printed 2020

James Blair

(American, 1931–2021)

Inkjet print from original Kodachrome negative

Image: 17.7 x 45.7 cm (6 15/16 x 18 in.); Paper: 43.1 x 55.8 cm (16 15/16 x 21 15/16 in.)

Gift of Emmie Stonehill Donadio 2020.342

Location

Did you know?

In 1969, the Cuyahoga River became the poster child for water pollution.

Description

This photograph was made less than a year after the Cuyahoga River came to national prominence for catching fire. James Blair, shooting a story on pollution for National Geographic, chose a panorama format and a low viewpoint so that ironwork structures loom overhead. The ruined pier occupying the center foreground suggests obsolescence and predicts the economic decline that turned the Great Lakes into the Rust Belt.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.