Exhibitions: 4 x 4
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This object is a member of the following groups (click any group name to view all objects in that group):Exhibitions: 4 x 4
Artists: Walker Evans (PA '22)
When the Brooklyn Bridge connecting the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan opened to traffic in 1883, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and its towers were the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere. A key feature of the city’s urban landscape, the Brooklyn Bridge is a cultural symbol of modern America. Photographer Walker Evans had a clear view of the bridge from his rented room in Brooklyn Heights. While other photographers focused on a lateral view of the bridge with the Manhattan skyline visible in the distance, Evans offers a frontal perspective, that of a pedestrian at a moment of quietness. The Brooklyn Bridge’s steel cables and Gothic arches become an abstract image of geometric designs and shadows. Such pictures portrayed the grand suspension bridge as an emblem of modernity.
Poet Hart Crane (1899–1932), who like his close friend Evans lived in Brooklyn Heights, also found the bridge a source of inspiration and a symbol of optimism. In 1930 Crane published The Bridge, a book that was accompanied by three of Evans’ bridge photographs. In the final section “Atlantis,” Crane’s hopeful vision is expressed as his words articulate the powerful geometry seen in Evans’ pictures:
This object was included in the following exhibitions:Geometry of the City: Walker Evans Photographs of New York (1928-1930), Addison Gallery of American Art, 3/15/1993 - 4/19/1993
Industrial Evolution: Photographic Images and Ideas, Addison Gallery of American Art, 1/14/1995 - 1/7/1996
Place and Perceptions, Addison Gallery of American Art, 4/16/2002 - 7/31/2002
American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans and Bourke-White, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 10/2/2010 - 10/2/2011
People, Places, Things: Symbols of American Culture, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/4/2012 - 1/13/2013
4 x 4, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/1/2018 - 7/31/2019
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