22novallday29apralldayNew Geography: Photographs by Marilyn BridgesEXHIBITION

“From Marilyn Bridges’ single-engine Cessna, hovering low at the approximate altitude of an angel with wing trouble, the earth tends to be dark, ambiguous, laced with a mournful poetry. The planet’s skin is crumpled and worn and scarred with mysterious designs. Someone long ago left signs here, certain they would be recognized: giants and serpents, on a preposterous scale, that stared at the sky unseen till the advent of the airplane. Today the earth’s surface is marked with highways and water towers and precisely plowed fields. Serpents, towers, plow marks—they all have a meaning, if only one knows the language.”

—Vicki Goldberg, critic, The New York Times

 

For four decades, pilot and photographer Marilyn Bridges has taken to the skies to capture riveting landscapes below. From her initial fascination with photographing ancient earthworks, she has gone on to explore the markings that humans leave on the land today. This exhibition brought together a selection of her work from the 1980s which included both ancient and contemporary subjects in the United States and Peru. All the works were from the Museum’s collection.

 

The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, The Century Fund, Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Friends of the Museum.

Marilyn Bridges (American, 1958-1990), Parker Rattlesnake, Parker Arizona, 1983, gelatin silver print. Allentown Art Museum, gift of Garrett Gunderson, 2015. (2015.016.012)