Wednesday, October 21, 2009

59th St. Bridge

George Bellows (American, 1882–1925)
The Bridge, Blackwell's Island, 1909
oil on canvas
Toledo Museum of Art 1912.506
image: Toledo Museum of Art

While I seem to back in the habit of getting art up most days, Tuesdays are tough. I am taking a jewelry class on Monday nights and am usually a bit beat by the time I get home so for now we have Art of the Day, minus Tuesday.

I will also admit to my fall back of hitting up the small collection of works TMA has on their website when I am not feeling particularly alert to finding other art. But! This is never a bad thing since our collection is splendid! I love bridges, despite my still nagging fear of driving over them, I find them beautiful and fascinating, particularly when I am looking at them through a creative's eyes. The caption for this work on TMA's site mentions the Bellow's cropping of the bridge, "emphasizing its towering presence". I completely agree but what I find most comforting in the scene is the familiarity of the bridge. When we think of bridges we most like think of the bridge from a distance, the alluring view of it in its entirety, almost as a vista. Looking at this painting I think of the wonderful experience of viewing bridges from the perspective of the immediate shore. Of course, this bridge in particular holds a specific place in my history as it is was the bridge I traversed most often when I lived in Greenpoint.

I never really paid a lot of attention to this painting and while the image always looked familiar in some way I never realized that this was the Queensborough Bridge (59th St. Bridge) since the title refers to Blackwell's Island. I never knew this was an earlier name for Roosevelt Island.

I doubt I need to mention it, but the blue in this painting is gorgeous!

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