Fairmount Waterworks

T. Henry Smith, American, active 1843 - c. 1903

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

30 13/16 x 47 1/16 inches (78.3 x 119.5 cm) Framed: 38 x 53 1/2 x 3 inches (96.5 x 135.9 x 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

* Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor (Dorrance Galleries)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Bloomfield Moore Fund, 1966

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nhd 1861 to 1877 urban [x]  

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William Penn named this hill Fairmount and enjoyed viewing the Schuylkill River scenery from its summit. When Philadelphia built the water works facility here, a 3-million-gallon reservoir was excavated at the top of the hill to supply neighboring homes and businesses with water. Smith portrayed Fairmount as an idealized place where technology and nature coexisted, creating a stable foundation for the modern city in the background.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.