Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Bowdoin College Museum of Art Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Advanced Search
Image of Brooklyn Bridge at Night 5505



Joseph Pennell (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7/4/1857 - 1926)     


Brooklyn Bridge at Night

Creation Date



20th century


7 3/8 in. x 8 7/8 in. (18.8 cm. x 22.6 cm.)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

aquatint on paper

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Susan Dwight Bliss


Public Domain

Accession Number

Though born in Philadelphia, Joseph Pennell spent most of his artistic career based in London creating romantic illustrations of European cities. In 1921, Pennell returned to America and settled in Brooklyn Heights, where he lived until his death. Pennell believed in the unique aesthetic qualities of modern American cities, and his apartment afforded great views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline. While Pennell’s print foregrounds the bridge as a dark, hazy, and ominous structure, it can also be understood as a longtime expatriate’s fond reflections on what makes American cities distinct: namely, its immense verticality, unorthodox geometry, sweeping expanse, and modern aesthetics.

Recommend keywords

Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.