Research: Luce Center for American Art

Brooklyn Bridge
Accession #77.11
Artist Georgia O'Keeffe
TitleBrooklyn Bridge
Date1949
MediumOil on masonite
Dimensions47 15/16 x 35 7/8 in. (121.8 x 91 cm)
Credit LineBequest of Mary Childs Draper
LocationAmerican Identities: A Brooklyn Orientation

Curatorial Remarks: Embraced as a symbol of modern, urban life and technological progress, the Brooklyn Bridge became a popular subject for artists and writers from the moment of its completion in 1883. Georgia O\'Keeffe\'s forceful interpretation of the bridge, one of the last works that she painted in New York before her permanent relocation to New Mexico in 1949, is considered her farewell to the city where she had lived and worked for many years. O\'Keeffe\'s particular modernist vision emphasized essential aspects of form, resulting in a pared-down but intensified vision of her subjects. Her focus here was the Gothic-style arches of the massive bridge tower, and the arcing lines of the supporting cables, that proclaim this vast utilitarian structure a kind of American cathedral.