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Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge)

Alexander Alland (American, b. Ukraine, 1902-1989)

Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge), c. 1938

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 7 15/16 x 9 7/8 in. (20.2 x 25.1 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: William and Jane Schloss Family Foundation Fund, 2008-40
  • © Estate of Alexander Alland, Sr.
  • Digital image © 2010 The Jewish Museum, New York Photo by Ardon Bar Hama

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Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge)

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Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge)

Alland’s point of view (the angle or place from which the photograph was taken) is that of a pedestrian walking across the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan. This is indicated by the skyscraper—the Woolworth Building—on the left side of the composition. Other less prominent buildings are also visible on the distant skyline. Alland aligns the center of the bridge with the center of the photograph—creating a nearly symmetrical composition. By having the pedestrian walkway run off the bottom edge of the photograph, Alland invites the viewer into the pictorial space. One can see a pedestrian whose view would be nearly the same as ours. He serves as our surrogate within the scene. Suspension cables rise up, leading the viewer’s eyes inward and upward within the composition. A linear emphasis imparted by the crisscross patterns of the cables and guardrails runs throughout the composition.