Library show highlights Brooklyn’s natural history

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Times have certainly changed since ladies improved their figures with whalebone girdles — but a new photography show at the Brooklyn Public Library shows that nature is eternal.

Prospect Park, which was brand new when George Bradford Brainerd made pictures with glass plate negatives, looks just as good in Richard Golden’s recent photographs.

“While ‘then and now’ images usually focus on the built environment, Richard Golden celebrates Brooklyn’s many green spaces and the people who first recorded them on film,” said Joy Holland, a curator at the library.

The show, which runs from Sept. 15 through Nov. 5, illustrates the foresight of past Brooklyn residents who set aside almost a third of the borough’s acreage for open land.

“The point here is that the sorts of things they [Brainerd and Daniel Berry Austin] were photographing 150 years ago were just there,” Golden explained. “Nowadays these places exist only because of acts of preservati­on.”

“Nature Seen in Brooklyn,” at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library [in Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway, (718) 230-2100]. Closed Sunday.

Updated 11:45 am, September 4, 2009
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