Where We Are Audio Guide Playlist
Narrator: Artist Joseph Stella first saw the Brooklyn Bridge when he arrived in New York from a small town in southern Italy. He was struck by the technological wonders of the city. The bridge was an iconic symbol of the possibilities of the new world—simultaneously grand and frightening. Many nights, Stella visited the vast expanse of the bridge’s walkway. He later wrote, “I felt deeply moved, as if on the threshold of a new religion.”
Henri Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University.
Henri Petroski: The cables that dominate this picture are the suspension cables. The Brooklyn Bridge was really a ground-breaking suspension bridge. It was designed by John Roebling, the civil engineer who wanted to connect Brooklyn and New York, which were then separate cities across the East River.
Stella's perspective is essentially the impression you get as you walk along the bridge. The elevated walkway is cradled in these cables, so you’re caught in this net of cables and wires and it’s really a very spectacular setting.
The Brooklyn Bridge walkway provides one of the classic walks in the world. To walk across the bridge and to approach Manhattan at a walking pace is something that is hard to reproduce anywhere else. It gives you ample time to reflect upon the magnitude of the city, the achievements of the engineers and architects who made the city what it is. The people walking on the walkway coming towards you, walking with you, also remind you of the real diversity of the city. It’s just a spectacular, spectacular experience.
- 700 Introduction to Where We Are
- 701 Jacob Lawrence, War Series, 1946-47
- 702 Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918
- 702-2 Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918
- 703 Marsden Hartley, Painting, Number 5, 1914–1915
- 710 Morris Louis, Tet, 1958
- 710-2 Morris Louis, Tet, 1958
- 711 Jay DeFeo, The Eyes, 1958
- 712 Barnett Newman, Day One, 1951-52
- 713 Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme, 1939
- 721 Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life, 1946
- 721-2 Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life, 1946
- 722 Edward Hopper, New York Interior, 1921
- 723 James Castle, Drawings
- 730 Archibald Motley, Gettin' Religion, 1948
- 731 Arshile Gorky, The Artist and His Mother, 1926-c.1936
- 732 Thomas Hart Benton, Poker Night (from A Streetcar Named Desire), 1948
- 740 Charles Sheeler, River Rouge Plant, 1932
- 741 Elsie Driggs, Pittsburgh, 1927
- 742 Elizabeth Catlett, Prints
- 743 Frank Stella, Die Fahne hoch!, 1959
- 744 Charles Demuth, My Egypt, 1927
- 750 Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958
- 750-2 Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958
- 751 Isamu Noguchi, Humpty Dumpty, 1946
- 752 Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1931
- 752-2 Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1931