Photography as Art and History

Brooklyn Bridge, 1899

Brooklyn Bridge, 1899

Brooklyn Bridge, 2007

Brooklyn Bridge, 2007

Photography is one of my favorite forms of artistic expression. In addition to artistic merit, I am particularly interested in photographs that document life from long ago.

Compare the photo found on Histografica of the Brooklyn Bridge from 1899 to a recent image photographed in 2007. Almost the same point of view, yet a completely different scene.
Add an additional element to the scene – pop culture. Use the widgets below to listen to popular music from each of these eras.

Possible Discussion Questions:

1. How has this scene changed over the last 100 years?
2. How has photography changed over the last 100 years?
3. What type of person traveled the Brooklyn Bridge in each scene? How were lives different? The same? How might social interactions be different?
4. Listen to popular music from each era (preview songs to determine if appropriate for your students). How does this help you understand time and place? Does the music make you feel any different about the images? What if you played music from the 1899 with the photograph from 2007, does it fit?

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!

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