Marilyn Bridges
American, born 1948
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Marilyn Bridges photographs the earth’s marvels—natural and man-made, ancient and contemporary—from a small plane “hovering low at the approximate altitude of an angel with wing trouble,” as one New York Times critic described. Through her lens, the Manhattan skyline looks like a jewel box glittering in the sunlight, and ancient sites from the Parthenon to the pyramids at Giza take on an imposing quality, reminding the most jaded viewers of their splendor. Highway systems, water towers, plowed fields, and geological formations appear as mysterious designs waiting to be decoded. Likened by another critic to “some combination of Ansel Adams and Indiana Jones” for shooting these scenes while hanging out of an open airplane door, Bridges imbues her high-contrast, black-and-white photographs with a sense of longing and melancholy that enhance the landscapes’ beauty.