Saturday, January 12, 2013

A "sense of dominion": from Moses to Bloomberg, master builders standing over their city

OK, former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff  deserves it (almost) as much as Mayor Mike Bloomberg, but the latter got to pose, for The Atlantic (a too-gentle interview), as standing on/over the city.

Photo by Jake Chessum/The Atlantic. apparently Panorama of the City of New York, Queens Museum of Art
I haven't seen it discussed publicly, but surely one antecedent of that shot is Arnold Newman's classic 1959 portrayal of Robert Moses.

Photo: Arnold Newman/Getty Images; also see color version 
From UT/Austin web site:
Often called the "Master Builder," Robert Moses planned many of the most important public works and buildings in New York City. He was arguably the most powerful figure in New York City government in the mid-20th century and was responsible for numerous bridges, including the Triborough Bridge, as well as parkways, tunnels, two World Fairs and Shea Stadium.
Newman wanted to portray Moses as the builder of New York, so he placed him on an I-beam with a roll of drawings in his hand. In reality, Moses is only about two-and-a-half feet off the ground and about 12 feet from the East River. But he appears to float over the river with a sense of dominion.

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