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Bridge: Thames Crossings Celebrated At Museum Of London Docklands

By Londonist Last edited 30 months ago
Bridge: Thames Crossings Celebrated At Museum Of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands is all set to stage the largest art exhibition in its history, and Londonist is proud to act as media partner.

The Bridge exhibition brings together photographs, panoramas, art works, data visualisations and film, all depicting the bridges of the Thames. Collectively, the works look at how London's bridges allow people to move around and experience the city from new angles. As curator Francis Marshall says: "Most of the time we are in a maze of streets and the city reveals itself in fragments. On a bridge, however, the full iconic panorama is laid out."

The exhibition coincides with the 120th anniversary of Tower Bridge, and also runs during a period when new Thames crossings, such as Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge and a new bridge for east London, are under debate.

We've selected six of our favourite images from the exhibition below, to show the variation on display.

Henry Flather. The Construction of the Metropolitan District Railway 1868. Waterloo Bridge appears stranded in Flather’s extraordinary photograph, almost as if 
it has been thrown up during the excavations. The photograph was taken from a point west of the bridge, at the foot of Savoy Street, during the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway and Victoria Embankment. This is one of 64  photographs taken in the late 1860s by Flather to document the project. © Henry Flather/Museum of London
Henry Flather. The Construction of the Metropolitan District Railway 1868. Waterloo Bridge appears stranded in Flather’s extraordinary photograph, almost as if it has been thrown up during the excavations. The photograph was taken from a point west of the bridge, at the foot of Savoy Street, during the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway and Victoria Embankment. This is one of 64 photographs taken in the late 1860s by Flather to document the project. © Henry Flather/Museum of London
Lower Pool, with Tower Bridge under construction. © Museum of London
Lower Pool, with Tower Bridge under construction. © Museum of London
Barry Lewis. London Bridge. The new London Bridge, which opened in 1973, had heated pavements that  prevented ice from forming during the winter. British Rail opened a new London 
Bridge Station in December of that year. This photo, by Barry Lewis, was part of a 
Museum of London commission that documented commuting Londoners.  © Barry Lewis/Museum of London
Barry Lewis. London Bridge. The new London Bridge, which opened in 1973, had heated pavements that prevented ice from forming during the winter. British Rail opened a new London Bridge Station in December of that year. This photo, by Barry Lewis, was part of a Museum of London commission that documented commuting Londoners. © Barry Lewis/Museum of London
Lucinda Grange. Inside London Bridge. The bridge is actually hollow -- this photo shows the cavity. © Lucinda Grange
Lucinda Grange. Inside London Bridge. The bridge is actually hollow -- this photo shows the cavity. © Lucinda Grange
Giovanni Battista Piranesi. A View of Part of the Intended Bridge at Blackfriars. Blackfriars Bridge was built by the Corporation of London between 1760 and 1769.  Its designer was a Scottish architect, Robert Mylne (1733–1811). Like most artists of  the period, Mylne spent time in Rome. Whilst there he met Piranesi, whose prints of  Roman architecture he much admired. As Piranesi never came to London, Mylne 
presumably gave him a drawing of the bridge on which to base this print. Health &  Safety was clearly not a concern for Piranesi’s acrobatic scaffolders. © Museum of London.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi. A View of Part of the Intended Bridge at Blackfriars. Blackfriars Bridge was built by the Corporation of London between 1760 and 1769. Its designer was a Scottish architect, Robert Mylne (1733–1811). Like most artists of the period, Mylne spent time in Rome. Whilst there he met Piranesi, whose prints of Roman architecture he much admired. As Piranesi never came to London, Mylne presumably gave him a drawing of the bridge on which to base this print. Health & Safety was clearly not a concern for Piranesi’s acrobatic scaffolders. © Museum of London.
Julian Bell, Arrest at Nevada Bob’s. The Dartford Crossing joins Dartford and Thurrock across the River Thames. The crossing forms part of London's ringroad, the M25, and includes two tunnels as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Bell's panorama looks south towards Kent from the north bank of the Thames. Although, the title refers to a foreground incident, Bell explained that the real subject is 'the road itself, which goes on forever'.
Julian Bell, Arrest at Nevada Bob’s. The Dartford Crossing joins Dartford and Thurrock across the River Thames. The crossing forms part of London's ringroad, the M25, and includes two tunnels as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Bell's panorama looks south towards Kent from the north bank of the Thames. Although, the title refers to a foreground incident, Bell explained that the real subject is 'the road itself, which goes on forever'.

Bridge runs at Museum of London Docklands from 27 June to 2 November 2014. Entrance is free. We'll have more details about the exhibition's events programme, and more on the artworks soon.

Last Updated 11 June 2014