99 Brooklyn, NY: A Bridge

Brooklyn, New York: Macomb's Dam Bridge

After driving up into New England, I came back down to stay with Sean and Laurie in Weehawken and hit some other Manhattan-area towns. That first day back, I took a train to Brooklyn. A Hopper hangs in Brooklyn.

Like I mentioned above, this is a great example of how Hopper has exported pieces of America from their original locales. Brooklyn's most famous tenant may be the Brooklyn Bridge, which painters love painting because it is supposed to represent the beauty of modern American engineering. Hopper started to paint it in the background of his painting Room in Brooklyn, though he ended up omitting it. Room in Brooklyn hangs in Boston, while a bridge he eventually did paint, Macomb's Dam Bridge, ended up here in Brooklyn.

Macomb's Dam Bridge is housed in the Brooklyn Museum, a six-story behemoth along Eastern Parkway, itself a monstrous six-lane roadway. The museum is most famous recently for displaying an artwork made with elephant dung. The Brooklyn museum was actually the first to purchase a Hopper painting for its collection. However, it was a watercolor, not an oil. It shows a mansard roof (titled The Mansard Roof), one of Hopper's favorite subjects. Mansard roofs were invented in Paris where you were taxed according to number of floors. Landlords claimed the mansard roofs (which cover a whole floor) were actually roofs and not floors. Hopper, with his sly sensibility, would have appreciated the trickery.

The museum's three-story Beaux Arts lobby looked like a converted school, floored in dark linoleum. On the weekday I was there, it was filled with actual school kids, screaming and clambering, slapping each other. I waited a long time in line while the woman at the front desk stared at me and continued her phone conversation with a friend. When she hung up, she deigned to sell me an entrance ticket. I had to stop at the restroom first and found the children in there filling the toilets with paper. The toilet seats were all missing.

1 comment:

SEO said...

i was in Brooklyn the last year with my boyfried...it was amazing! he love Brooklyn and i made him this holiday! Brooklyn offers something for everyone, those interested in history will find that the borough’s history is displayed on every corner; i love the world-famous Brooklyn Zoo and those with a passion for architecture will find plenty to marvel at in the Brooklyn neighbourhoods with their iconic brownstones and abundance of churches.
we did also the tours in Brooklyn New York it was very great!