How Edward Hopper sees the Manhattan Bridge

Edward Hopper has painted the Manhattan Bridge before; “Manhattan Bridge Loop,” from 1928, depicts this least-celebrated East River crossing with “eerie stillness” and a sense of solitude and isolation.

Two years earlier, he captured something similar in “Manhattan Bridge” (owned by the Whitney Museum). It’s a scene free of human beings and any clue about the time of day or season of the year.

The Manhattan Bridge span (only 17 years old in 1926) is flowy and graceful. The low-rise red building at the water’s edge is literally on its last legs; it leans away from the bridge like it’s afraid of it.

The scene seems so passive, it’s almost as if time is standing still…but time is rushing forth. The old city of wood shacks is bowing down to the modern metropolis of steel bridges that are supposed to connect people in an urban landscape that actually isolates.

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3 Responses to “How Edward Hopper sees the Manhattan Bridge”

  1. Kenny Says:

    Very perceptive parallel between the bridge and the wood shack; I never saw it that way before.

  2. Paul Payton Says:

    Nice piece. Interesting that taken alone, the Manhattan Bridge would be a monument, but it is overshadowed by all its “brethren” bridges.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thank you! Hopper’s New York is timeless.

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