The completion of the Erie Canal, connecting New York City to Lake Erie, played an important role in expanding Great Lakes trade and helping upstate cities grow in the 19th century.
James Hope (1818–1892) was born in Scotland and later came to the United States. He was influenced by Frederic Church and spent the last twenty years of his life working out of his studio in Watkins Glen.
The city of Buffalo hosted the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. This World’s Fair-like event occupied 350 acres near what is now Delaware Park. Gondolas traveled the waters of the canal which surrounded the main area. The Temple of Music and the Triumphal Bridge are visible in the background.
Charles Abel Corwin (1857 – 1938) was a lithographer and painter who taught at the Chicago Art Institute. He specialized in museum murals and backgrounds for dioramas.