Brooklyn's Bridges

June 28, 2011 - September 18, 2011
Central Library, Grand Lobby
Brooklyn's Bridges: Engineering as Arts &


A group exhibition featuring work by Charley Andrisano, Michel Bayard, the Brooklyn Collection, Willie Chu, Philippe Dollo, Randy Duchaine, Albert Fayngold, Jose Gaytan, Randy Jones, Nathan Kensinger, Tom Keough, Antonio Masi, Kellyann Monaghan, Lucille Nurkse, Al Pereira, Paul Raphaelson, Lynn Saville and Keith Thomson.


BPL - Exhibitions: Brooklyn's Bridges, Lymm Saville, Fulton Landing Warehouse BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Nathan Kensinger, Twilight Waterfront BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Randy Duchaine, Brooklyn Bridge Abstract BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Jose Gaytan, Brooklyn Bridge

Clockwise from top left:
Fulton Landing Warehouse, ©Lynn Saville
Domino Sugar Factory, ©Nathan Kensinger
Brooklyn Bridge, ©Jose Gaytan
Brooklyn Bridge Abstract, ©Randy Duchaine


BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Al Pereira, Black SheepBPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Michael Bayard, Brooklyn Bridge
BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Paul Raphaelson, Untitled from the Wilderness ProjectBPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Willie Chu, Brooklyn Bridge Panorama

Clockwise from top left:
Black Sheep, ©Al Pereira
Brooklyn Bridge, ©Michel Bayard
Brooklyn Bridge Panorama, ©Willie Chu
Untitled from the Wilderness Project, ©Paul Raphaelson


BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Keith Thomson, Manhattan Angel Library ShowBPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Tom Keough, Brooklyn BridgesBPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Albert Fayngold, Brooklyn Bridge

BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn Bridges, Kellyann MonaghanClockwise from top left:
Manhattan Angel, ©Keith Thomson
Brooklyn Bridge, ©Tom Keough
Condo Construction and Williamsburg Bridge, ©Kellyann Monaghan
On Brooklyn Bridge: Nocturne in Green, ©Albert Fayngold


BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Lucille Nurkse: River and BridgeBPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Charley Andrisano: Verrazano Bridge

From left to right:
River and Bridge
©Lucille Nurkse
Verrazano Narrows Bridge
©Charley Andrisano
BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Antonio Masi, Sunset Brooklyn Bridge II

BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Phillippe Dollo: The Fragile City
Sunset, Brooklyn Bridge II
© Antonio Masi
The Fragile City
© Phillippe Dollo

BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Randy Jones: Brooklyn Authors

BPL - Exhibition: Brooklyn's Bridges, Brooklyn Collection: Manhattan Bridge, Funeral Procession
Brooklyn Authors
© Randy Jones
Funeral Procession
© Brooklyn Collection

Featured Illustrators:



Marianne Moore was referring specifically to the Brooklyn Bridge when she wrote in her poem "Granite and Steel":

way out; way in; romantic passageway
first seen by the eye of the mind,
then by the eye. O steel! O stone!


Brooklyn is blessed with bridges. We can boast of a triumvirate of centenarians. In addition to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, which continues to retain its special historical and aesthetic significance, the Manhattan Bridge or the Williamsburg Bridge will take us across the East River by car, subway, bicycle or foot. Should we wish to cross the bay to Staten Island, we can traverse the elegant engineering marvel that is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas. A host of more modest structures round out Brooklyn's remarkable inventory of man-made crossings.

Brooklyn's major bridges remind us that we are geographically part of an island, Long Island, at the very same time that they reduce the significance of our separation by anchoring us to the mainland. Brooklyn's bridges helped to join Brooklyn to the city of New York, and then made it possible for the huddled immigrant masses of the Lower East Side to spread out in more spacious and still partly agrarian surroundings. More recently this exodus from Manhattan was re-enacted when refugees from high real estate prices brought their talents across the river and settled not far from the bases of the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.

Bridges make for powerful, if much overused, metaphors, but their sheer physical reality can be arresting ("O steel! O stone!"). They embody tons upon tons of materials, mined, forged, transported, assembled and constructed with the skill, sweat and, all too often, the very lives of countless workers. They also embody our ambitions as a society, our commercial aspirations, our need for communication and connectedness, our desire to leave a tangible mark upon the earth demonstrating and celebrating what, at our best, we are capable of achieving.

No wonder, then, that Brooklyn's bridges have long fascinated artists in a wide range of media. This exhibition brings together the work of 17 visual artists who have chosen to explore these omnipresent and monumental features of our daily lives. Their work reflects a range of responses - among which we can readily detect awe, a sense of mystery, scientific curiosity and simple sensual delight - that can be readily shared by all who have passed under the shadow and the spell of these Behemoths that sit astride our urban landscape.

Jay Kaplan, Director
Programs & Exhibitions
Brooklyn Public Library