Natural Bridge

  • Roger Brown, Natural Bridge, 1971, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the S. W. and B. M. Koffler Foundation, 1979.53.5

The Natural Bridge, in Roger Brown’s home state of Alabama, was formed thousands of years ago when a stream cut through a sandstone deposit and eroded the outer rock. It has since become a symbol of undisturbed, natural beauty, as well as a minor tourist attraction. Brown painted Natural Bridge shortly after a trip to Europe, where he saw power lines stretching across the desert-like Spanish horizon. Upon returning home, Brown could not shake the scene from his mind and included power lines in many of his landscape paintings from this period. Although inspired by his European travels, Brown believed the power lines became recognizable images of the American landscape when incorporated into his paintings. The silhouetted figures, whose fashions and hairstyles were inspired by Nancy comics of the 1940s, serve to heighten the imaginative quality of this painting.

Natural Bridge
Not on view
48 1460 in. (122.5152.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the S. W. and B. M. Koffler Foundation

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture Exterior – science – power lines
  • Figure group
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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