Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is an encyclopedia art museum located in the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

 of Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

. At 560,000 square feet, the museum holds New York City's second largest art collection with roughly 1.5 million works.

Founded in 1895, the Beaux-Arts building, designed by McKim, Mead and White, was planned to be the largest art museum in the world. The museum went through struggles to maintain its building and collection, only to be revitalized in the late 20th-century, thanks to major renovations. Significant areas of the collection include antiquities, specifically their collection of Egyptian antiquities spanning over 3,000 years. African
African art
African art constitutes one of the most diverse legacies on earth. Though many casual observers tend to generalize "traditional" African art, the continent is full of people, societies, and civilizations, each with a unique visual special culture. The definition also includes the art of the African...

, Oceanic, and Japanese art
Japanese art
Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, ink painting on silk and paper and more recently manga, cartoon, along with a myriad of other types of works of art...

 make for notable antiquities collections as well. American art
American Art
American Art is the debut album of the band Weatherbox. It was released on May 8, 2007 on Doghouse Records. The album received critical acclaim from several sources including underground music distribution company Smartpunk, who lauded the band's style:...

 is heavily represented, starting at the Colonial period. Artists represented in the collection include Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko, born Marcus Rothkowitz , was a Russian-born American painter. He is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he himself rejected this label, and even resisted classification as an "abstract painter".- Childhood :Mark Rothko was born in Dvinsk, Vitebsk Province, Russian...

, Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching...

, Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell
Norman Percevel Rockwell was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening...

, Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art....

, Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas[p] , born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist...

, Georgia O'Keefe, and Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

. The museum also has a "Memorial Sculpture Garden" which features salvaged architectural elements from throughout New York City.


The roots of the Brooklyn Museum extend back to the 1823 founding of the Brooklyn Apprentices’ Library in Brooklyn Heights. The Library moved into the Brooklyn Lyceum building on Washington Street in 1841; the institutions merged two years later to form the Brooklyn Institute, which offered exhibitions of painting and sculpture and lectures on diverse subjects. In 1890, Institute leaders reorganized as the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and began planning the Brooklyn Museum. Until the 1970s the Museum would remain a subdivision of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, among other subdivisions that at one point included the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (all became independent at that time).

Opened in 1897 and founded by Augustus Graham, the Brooklyn Museum building is a steel frame structure—built to the standards of classical masonry—designed by the famous architectural
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 firm of McKim, Mead, and White
McKim, Mead, and White
McKim, Mead & White was a prominent American architectural firm at the turn of the twentieth century and in the history of American architecture. The firm's founding partners were Charles Follen McKim , William Rutherford Mead and Stanford White...

 and built by the Carlin Construction Company. The initial design for the Brooklyn Museum was four times as large as the actualized version; actualized plans reflect a compromise to the specifications of the New York City government. Daniel Chester French
Daniel Chester French
Daniel Chester French was an American sculptor. His best-known work is the sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.-Life and career:...

, the noted sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, was the principal designer of the pediment sculptures and the monolithic 12½ foot figures along the cornice. The figures were carved by 11 different sculptors. French was also the designer of the two allegorical figures Brooklyn and Manhattan currently flanking the museum's entrance (created in 1916 for the Brooklyn approach to the Manhattan Bridge, relocated to the museum in 1963).

William Henry Fox was the first director of the museum serving from 1914-1934. He was followed by Philip Newell Youtz from 1934-1938, Laurance Page Roberts from 1939-1946, Isabel Spaulding Roberts from 1943-1946, Charles Nagel, Jr. from 1946-1955, Edgar Craig Schenck from 1955-1959.

Thomas S. Buechner
Thomas S. Buechner
Thomas Scharman Buechner was an aspiring artist who turned to working at museums, who became the founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass and director of the Brooklyn Museum, where he oversaw a major transformation in its operation and displays....

 was named as the museum's director in 1960, making him one of the youngest directors in the country. Buechner oversaw a major transformation in the way the museum displayed art and brought some one thousand works that had been languishing in the museum's archives and put them on display. Buechner played a pivotal role in rescuing the Daniel Chester French sculptures from destruction due to an expansion project at the Manhattan Bridge
Manhattan Bridge
The Manhattan Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn . It was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges...

 in the 1960s.

From 1971-1974 Duncan F. Cameron served as director, with Michael Botwinick serving from 1974–1982, Linda S. Ferber as acting director for part of 1983, and Robert T. Buck from 1983-1997.

The Brooklyn Museum changed its name to Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1997, shortly before the start of Arnold L. Lehman's current term as director. On March 12, 2004, the museum announced that it would revert to its previous name. In April 2004, a new entrance pavilion, designed by James Stewart Polshek and facing Eastern Parkway, opened at the Brooklyn Museum.


The Brooklyn Museum, along with numerous other New York institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

, the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a botanical garden in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Located near the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and Park Slope neighborhoods, the garden includes a number of specialty "gardens within the Garden," plant collections, and the Steinhardt Conservatory,...

, is part of the Cultural Institutions Group
Cultural Institutions Group
One hundred and thirty years ago, New York City and dedicated groups of private citizens established a new pattern of public-private partnerships that would prove to have an enormous impact on the future growth and reputation of the city. These partnerships were not for investment purposes, real...

 (CIG). Member institutions occupy land or buildings owned by the City of New York and derive part of their yearly funding from the City. The Brooklyn Museum also supplements its earned income with funding from Federal and State governments, as well as with donations by individuals and organizations.

In 1999, the museum hosted the Charles Saatchi
Charles Saatchi
Charles Saatchi is the co-founder with his brother Maurice of the global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and led that business - the world's largest advertising agency in the 1980s - until they were forced out in 1995. In the same year the Saatchi brothers formed a new agency called M&C...

 exhibition Sensation in 1999, resulting in a court battle over New York City's municipal funding of controversial art.

In 2005, the museum was among 406 New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Rubens Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City. With a net worth of $19.5 billion in 2011, he is also the 12th-richest person in the United States...


Major benefactors include Frank Lusk Babbott
Frank Lusk Babbott
Frank Lusk Babbott was a multimillionaire jute merchant, art collector, patron, and philanthropist.-Early life:Babbott was born in Waterville, New York, the son of Miller Babbott and Mary Elizabeth Crandall.-Education:...


The museum is the site of the annual Brooklyn Artists Ball. Past celebrity hosts have included Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler.

Art and exhibitions

The Brooklyn Museum exhibits collections that seek to embody the rich artistic heritage of world cultures. The museum is well-known for its expansive collections of Egyptian and African art, in addition to 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts throughout a wide range of schools.

In 2002, the museum received the work The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party is an installation artwork by feminist artist Judy Chicago depicting place settings for 39 mythical and historical famous women. It was produced from 1974 to 1979 as a collaboration and was first exhibited in 1979. Subsequently, despite art world resistance, it toured to 16 venues...

, by feminist artist Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, author, and educator.Chicago has been creating artwork since the mid 1960s. Her earliest forays into the art world coincided with the rise of Minimalism, which she eventually abandoned in favor of art she believed to have greater content and relevance...

, as a gift from The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation. Its permanent exhibition began in 2007, as a centerpiece for the museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is on the fourth floor of the Brooklyn Museum, New York.-History:The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opened on March 23, 2007 at the Brooklyn Museum...

. In 2004, the Brooklyn Museum featured Manifest Destiny, an 8-by-24-foot oil-on-wood mural by Alexis Rockman
Alexis Rockman
Alexis Rockman is an American contemporary artist known for his paintings that provide rich depictions of future landscapes as they might exist with impacts of climate change and evolution influenced by genetic engineering. He has exhibited his work in the United States since 1985, including a...

 that was commissioned by the museum as a centerpiece for the second-floor Mezzanine Gallery and marking the opening of the renovated Grand Lobby and plaza at the museum. Other exhibitions have showcased the works of various contemporary artists including Patrick Kelly
Patrick Kelly (fashion designer)
Patrick Kelly was a Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S. born. Kelly studied art at Jackson University and than attended Parsons DesignNYC. While living in Atlanta Kelly sold recycled clothes and working with out pay at Yves Saint Laurent chairman Pierre Bergé, who later in 1988, sponsored Kelly...

, Chuck Close
Chuck Close
Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits...

, Denis Peterson
Denis Peterson
Denis Peterson is an American hyperrealist painter. He is a hyperrealist painter whose photorealist works have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Tate Modern, Springville Museum of Art, Corcoran MPA and Max Hutchinson Gallery...

, Ron Mueck
Ron Mueck
Ronald "Ron" Mueck is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor working in the United Kingdom.-Early work:Ron Mueck began his career working on the Australian children's television program Shirl's Neighbourhood...

, Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami
is an internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist. He works in fine arts media—such as painting and sculpture—as well as what is conventionally considered commercial media —fashion, merchandise, and animation— and is known for blurring the line between high and low art...

, Mat Benote
Mat Benote
Mat Benote is a contemporary American artist associated with the graffiti urban art movement. He is most commonly known for placing fine art in museums and public spaces. His work has been displayed in many museums including the Guggenheim in New York City and the Los Angeles County Museum...

, Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith is an American artist classified as a feminist artist, a movement with beginnings in the twentieth century...

, Jim Dine
Jim Dine
Jim Dine is an American pop artist. He is sometimes considered to be a part of the Neo-Dada movement. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended Walnut Hills High School, the University of Cincinnati, and received a BFA from Ohio University in 1957. He first earned respect in the art world with...

, Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well-known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations...

, Sylvia Sleigh
Sylvia Sleigh
Sylvia Sleigh was a Welsh-born naturalised American realist painter...

 and William Wegman
William Wegman (photographer)
William Wegman is an artist best known for creating series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses.-Life and career:...

, and a 2004 survey show of work by Brooklyn artists, Open House: Working in Brooklyn.

In 2008, curator Edna Russman announced that a third of the Coptic art
Coptic art
Coptic art is a term used either for the art of Egypt produced in the early Christian era or for the art produced by the Coptic Christians themselves. Coptic art is most well known for its wall-paintings, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, and metalwork, much of which survives in monasteries and...

 held in the museum's collection—second-largest in North America—is fake. Of 30 works of art, Russman believes 10 are faked. The fake artworks will be displayed in an exhibition starting in 2009.


Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art

The Brooklyn Museum has been building a collection of Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian artifacts since the beginning of the twentieth century, incorporating both collections purchased from others, such as the collection of American Egyptologist
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

 Charles Edward Wilbour (whose heirs also donated his library - now the Museum's Wilbour Library of Egyptology - to the museum), and objects obtained in archeological excavations sponsored by the museum. The Egyptian collection includes objects ranging from statuary - including the well-known "Bird Lady" terra cotta
Terra cotta
Terracotta, Terra cotta or Terra-cotta is a clay-based unglazed ceramic, although the term can also be applied to glazed ceramics where the fired body is porous and red in color...

 figure - to papyrus
Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt....


Currently, the Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern collections are housed in a series of galleries in the Museum. Egyptian artifacts can be found in the long-term exhibit Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, as well as in the Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Galleries. Near Eastern artifacts are located in the Hagop Kevorkian
Hagop Kevorkian
Hagop Kevorkian was an Armenian-American archeologist, connoisseur of art, collector, originally from Kayseri who graduated from the American Robert College in Istanbul and settled in New York in the late 19th century and helped America acquire a taste for Eastern artifacts.He carried out...


American Art

The museum's collection of American art dates back to its being given Francis Guy
Francis Guy
Francis Guy was an English-born American Colonial Era painter. Mostly remembered for his topographic views of Brooklyn, Guy is today highly regarded as one of America's earliest and most important landscape artists.-Biography:...

's Winter Scene in Brooklyn in 1846. In 1855, the museum officially designated a collection of American Art, with the first work commissioned for the collection being a landscape painting by Asher B. Durand. Items in the American Art collection include portraits, pastels, sculptures, and prints; all items in the collection date to between circa 1720 and circa 1945.

Represented in the American Art collection are works by artists such as William Edmondson
William Edmondson
William Edmondson was an African-American folk art sculptor. In 1937 Edmondson was the first African-American artist to be given a one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.-Biography:...

 (Angel, date unknown), John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings...

's Paul César Helleu
Paul César Helleu
Paul César Helleu was a French artist best known for his portraits of many of the most famous and beautiful women of his time including the Duchess of Marlborough, the Countess of Greffulhe, the Marchesa Casati and Belle da Costa Greene.-Biography:He was born in Vannes, Brittany, France...

 sketching his wife Alice Guérin
, ca. 1889, Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe was an American artist.Born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O'Keeffe first came to the attention of the New York art community in 1916, several decades before women had gained access to art training in America’s colleges and universities, and before any of its women artists...

's Dark Tree Trunks, ca. 1946, and Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a preeminent figure in American art....

's Eight Bells
Eight Bells
Eight Bells is an 1886 oil painting by the American artist Winslow Homer. It depicts two sailors determining their boat's position. It is one of Homer's best known paintings, and the last of his major paintings of the 1880s that dramatically chronicles man's relationship to the ocean.Eight Bells...

, ca. 1887. Among the most famous items in the collection are Gilbert Stuart
Gilbert Stuart
Gilbert Charles Stuart was an American painter from Rhode Island.Gilbert Stuart is widely considered to be one of America's foremost portraitists...

's portrait of George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and Edward Hicks
Edward Hicks
Edward Hicks was an American folk painter, a distinguished minister of the Society of Friends, and he also became a Quaker icon because of his paintings.-Early life:...

's The Peaceable Kingdom
Edward Hicks
Edward Hicks was an American folk painter, a distinguished minister of the Society of Friends, and he also became a Quaker icon because of his paintings.-Early life:...


Works from the American Art collection can be located in various areas of the museum, including in the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden and in the exhibit American Identities: A New Look, which is contained within the museum's Visible Storage ▪ Study Center.

Arts of Africa

The oldest acquisitions in the African art collection were collected by the museum in 1900, shortly after the museum's founding. The collection was expanded in 1922 with items originating largely in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

, and in 1923 the museum hosted one of the first exhibitions of African art in the United States.

With over five thousand items in its collection, the Brooklyn Museum boasts one of the largest collections of African art in any American art museum. Although the title of the collection implies that it includes art from all of the African continent, in reality works from Africa are sub-categorized into a number of collections. Western and Central sub-Saharan works are collected under the banner of African Art, while Northern African and Egyptian art are grouped with the Islamic and Egyptian art collections, respectively.

The African art collection covers 2,500 years of human history and includes sculpture, jewelery, masks, and religious artifacts from more than one hundred African cultures. Noteworthy items in this collection include a carved ndop figure of a Kuba king, believed to be among the oldest extant ndop carvings, and a Lulua mother-and-child figure.

Arts of the Pacific Islands

The museum's collection of Pacific Islands art began in 1900 with the acquisition of one hundred wooden figures and shadow puppets from New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 and the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 (now Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

); with that hundred items as its foundation, the collection has grown to npw encompass close to five thousand works. Art in this collection is sourced to numerous Pacific and Indian ocean islands including Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 as well as less-populous islands like Rapa Nui and Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...


Art objects in this collection are crafted from a wide variety of materials; the museum lists "coconut fiber, feathers, shells, clay, bone, human hair, wood, moss, and spider webs" as among the materials used make artworks including masks, tapa cloth
Tapa cloth
Tapa cloth is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, but as far afield as Niue, Cook Islands, Futuna, Solomon Islands, Java, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii...

s, sculpture, and jewelery.

Many of the Marquesa
Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands enana and Te Fenua `Enata , both meaning "The Land of Men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9° 00S, 139° 30W...

n items in the collection were acquired by the museum from famed Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed by raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands...


Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

The museum’s center for feminist art
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is on the fourth floor of the Brooklyn Museum, New York.-History:The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opened on March 23, 2007 at the Brooklyn Museum...

 opened in 2007 and is dedicated to preserving the history of the movement since the late 20th century as well as raising awareness of feminist contributions to art and informing the future of this area of artistic dialogue. Along with an exhibition space, and library, the center features a gallery housing a masterwork by Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, author, and educator.Chicago has been creating artwork since the mid 1960s. Her earliest forays into the art world coincided with the rise of Minimalism, which she eventually abandoned in favor of art she believed to have greater content and relevance...

, a large installation called The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party is an installation artwork by feminist artist Judy Chicago depicting place settings for 39 mythical and historical famous women. It was produced from 1974 to 1979 as a collaboration and was first exhibited in 1979. Subsequently, despite art world resistance, it toured to 16 venues...


European art

The Brooklyn museum has among others late Gothic and Early Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 paintings by Lorenzo di Niccolo
Lorenzo di Niccolò
Lorenzo di Niccolò was an Italian painter active in Florence from 1391 to 1412.Often erroneously cited as the son of Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, with whom he realized some works, this artist transformed his style from one more reminiscent of Giotto to one more elegant and linear, similar to that of...

 ("Scenes from the life of Saint Lawrence"), Sano di Pietro
Sano di Pietro
Sano di Pietro was an early Italian Renaissance painter and miniaturist from Siena.No works by Sano are known before 1443; he apprenticed under Sassetta and Giovanni di Paolo...

, Nardo di Cione
Nardo di Cione
Nardo di Cione , was an Italian painter, sculptor and architect from Florence. He was the brother of the more accomplished Andrea di Cione, called Orcagna, as well as Jacopo di Cione; they were important members of the Painter’s Guild of Florence...

, Lorenzo Monaco
Lorenzo Monaco
Lorenzo Monaco was an Italian painter of the late Gothic-early Renaissance age.-Biography:...

, Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

 ("Saint Jerome"), Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

. It has Dutch paintings by Frans Hals
Frans Hals
Frans Hals was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.-Biography:Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp...

, Gerard Dou
Gerard Dou
Gerrit Dou , also known as Gerard and Douw or Dow, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose small, highly-polished paintings are typical of the Leiden fijnschilders...

, and Thomas de Keyser
Thomas de Keyser
Thomas de Keyser was a Dutch painter and architect.De Keyser was born and died in Amsterdam. He excelled as a portrait painter, and was the most in-demand portrait painter in the Netherlands until the 1630s, when Rembrandt eclipsed him in popularity...

 as well as others. It has 19th Century French paintings by Charles Daubigny, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz
Narcisse Virgilio Díaz
Narcisse Virgilio Díaz de la Peña was a French painter of the Barbizon school.Diaz was born in Bordeaux to Spanish parents. At the age of ten, Diaz became an orphan, and misfortune dogged his early years. His foot was bitten by a reptile in Meudon wood, near Sèvres, where he had been taken to live...

, Eugene Boudin
Eugène Boudin
Eugène Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors.Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores...

 ("Port,Le Havre"), Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.In 1864, she exhibited for the first...

, Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas[p] , born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist...

, Gustave Caillebotte
Gustave Caillebotte
Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group...

 ("Railway Bridge at Argentieul"), Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

("Doges Palace,Venice), Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas . His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as he was the only artist to exhibit in both forms...

, and Paul Cezanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

 as well as many others.

Selections from the American collection

Selections from the European collection


In 2000, the Brooklyn Museum started the Museum Apprentice Program in which the museum hires teenagers in high school, to give tours in the museum's galleries during the summer, assist with the museum's weekend family programs throughout the year, participate in talks with museum curator
A curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution is a content specialist responsible for an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material...

s, serve as a teen advisory board to the museum, and help plan teen events.

On the first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Museum stays open until 11pm. General admission is waived from 5-11pm, although ticketed exhibitions may still require an entrance fee (check with the Visitor Services department in advance. First Saturday programming is a fun, family-friendly event that is always educational. Visitors can attend free family events, collection based art-making for children, gallery tours and lectures, live performance, and a dance party.

The museum's online collection browser features a user-based tagging system, allowing the public to tag
A folksonomy is a system of classification derived from the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content; this practice is also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging...

 and curate sets of objects online, as well as solicit additional scholarship contributions.

Populist directions

Attendance at the Brooklyn Museum has been in decline in recent years, from a high "decades ago" of nearly one million visitors per years to more recent figures of 585,000 (1998) and 326,000 (2009).

The New York Times attributed this drop partially to the policies instituted by current director Arnold Lehman, who has chosen to focus museum energy on "populism", with exhibits on topics such as "Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

 movies and hip-hop music" rather than on more classical art topics.
“The quality of their exhibitions has lessened,” said Robert Storr, the dean of the Yale University School of Art and a Brooklynite. “ ‘Star Wars’ shows the worst kind of populism. I don’t think they really understand where they are. The middle of the art world is now in Brooklyn; it’s an increasingly sophisticated audience and always was one.”

Lehman has also brought more controversial exhibits, such as a 1999 show that included Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili is a Turner Prize winning British painter best known for artworks referencing aspects of his Nigerian heritage, particularly his incorporation of elephant dung. He was one of the Young British Artists, and is now based in Trinidad.-Early life:Ofilli was born in Manchester. He had a...

’s infamous dung-decorated The Holy Virgin Mary
The Holy Virgin Mary
The Holy Virgin Mary is a painting created by Chris Ofili in 1996. It was one of the works included in the Sensation exhibition in London, Berlin and New York in 1997–2000...

, to the museum.

In contrast to sinking attendance numbers, however, Lehman points out that the demographics of museum attendees are showing a new level of diversity. According to the New York Times, "[t]he average age [of museum attendees in a 2008 survey] was 35, a large portion of the visitors (40 percent) came from Brooklyn, and more than 40 percent identified themselves as people of color." Lehman asserts that the museum's interest is in being welcoming and attractive to all potential museum attendees, rather than simply amassing large numbers of them.

See also

  • Education in New York City
    Education in New York City
    Education in New York City is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. The city's public school system, the New York City Department of Education, is the largest in the world, and New York is home to some of the most important libraries, universities, and research centers in...

  • Floyd Abrams and the Brooklyn Museum case
  • List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City

External links

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