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South Street Seaport Museum announces In the Shadow of Genius A Book Talk with Barbara Mensch

April 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

South Street Seaport Museum
In the Shadow of Genius
A Book Talk with Barbara Mensch
Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6:30pm

The South Street Seaport Museum announces a free talk with photographer and author Barbara Mensch, author of In the Shadow of Genius: The Brooklyn Bridge and its Creators, on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6:30pm at the South Street Seaport Museum Melville Gallery, 213 Water Street, NYC. Advance registration is required at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10392665.

In the Shadow of Genius combines Barbara’s striking photographs with a powerful first-person narrative, taking the reader on a unique journey by recalling her experiences living alongside the bridge for more than 30 years and by tracing her own curious path to understand the brilliant minds and remarkable lives of those who built it: John, Washington, and Emily Roebling. Review copies available upon request.

On April 11, Barbara Mensch discusses In the Shadow of Genius with Fernanda Perrone, Curator of Special Collections and the Roebling Family Archive at Rutgers University and moderator Zette Emmons, long-time Seaport District resident and a museum professional who has worked at MoMA, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Newark Museum, and at the South Street Seaport Museum as curator of the 1987 exhibition The Great Liners: Transatlantic Passage Between the Wars.

“Her images are gripping and unconventional, her discoveries palpable and personal as she writes persuasively in defining the genius of the Roebling family.” – The New York Times

Barbara Mensch has had numerous exhibitions of her photographic work. Her images are represented in some of New York City’s most prestigious galleries, and her work is included in important collections, including those of MoMA, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Fundacion Televisa of Mexico City, the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In the Shadow of Genius is her newest book, with a foreword by Fernanda Perrone, Curator of Special Collections and the Roebling Family Archive at Rutgers University.

Many of Mensch’s photographs were inspired by her visits to the Roebling archives housed at Rutgers University, where she pieced together through notebooks, diaries, letters, and drawings of the seminal locations and events that affected their lives. Following in their footsteps, Mensch traveled to Mühlhausen, Germany, the birthplace of John Roebling; to Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, where Roebling established a utopian community in 1831; to Roebling aqueducts and bridges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York; and to the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where Washington Roebling, the son of the famous engineer, valiantly served as a Union soldier. The book begins and ends with Mensch’s unique photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge, including never-before-seen images captured deep within the structure. The book creatively fuses contemporary photography with the historical record, giving the reader a new perspective on contemplating the masterwork.

The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, and designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.”


April 11
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm