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Brooklyn Museum

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200 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, NY 11238
718-638-5000 https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

“The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Its roots extend back to 1823 and the founding of the Brooklyn Apprentices’ Library to educate young tradesmen (Walt Whitman would later become one of its librarians). First established in Brooklyn Heights, the Library moved into rooms in the Brooklyn Lyceum building on Washington Street in 1841. Two years later, the Lyceum and the Library combined to form the Brooklyn Institute, offering important early exhibitions of painting and sculpture in addition to lectures on subjects as diverse as geology and abolitionism. The Institute announced plans to establish a permanent gallery of fine arts in 1846.

By 1890, Institute leaders had determined to build a grand new structure devoted jointly to the fine arts and the natural sciences; the reorganized Institute was then renamed the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the forebear of the Brooklyn Museum. The original design of the new museum building, from 1893, by the architects McKim, Mead & White was meant to house myriad educational and research activities in addition to the growing collections. The ambitious building plan, had it been fully realized, would have produced the largest single museum structure in the world. Indeed, so broad was the institution’s overall mandate that the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum would remain divisions of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences until they became independent entities in the 1970s.

The museum division of the Institute, which came to be popularly called the Brooklyn Museum, was conceived, moreover, as the focal point of a planned cultural, recreational, and educational district for the burgeoning city of Brooklyn. Although the scope of that envisioned complex of parks, gardens, and buildings changed after the once-independent Brooklyn was absorbed into New York City in 1898, many features of the plan were eventually realized and are reflected in what can be seen today. In the area of land once designated as the Brooklyn Institute Triangle can be found not only the Brooklyn Museum but also such other institutions and facilities as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Mount Prospect Park, and the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library system. Just beyond the western edge of the Institute Triangle complex stands the monumental entrance to Prospect Park, marked by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch (1892) in the center of Grand Army Plaza…”

—Excerpt from the Brooklyn Museum’s History page. You can continue reading about the Brooklyn Museum’s history at brooklynmuseum.org/features/building

WEDNESDAY 11 am–6 pm
THURSDAY 11 am–10 pm
FRIDAY 11 am–6 pm
SATURDAY 11 am–6 pm
SUNDAY 11 am–6 pm

Upcoming Events

Winter Salon: Writers on Home

January 17 | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, NY 11238 + Google Map

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery and Luce Center for American Art, 5th Floor Meditate on the many meanings and experiences of home in conjunction with our special exhibition One: Do Ho Suh. Begin the evening with a behind-the-scenes walkthrough of the immersive installation with Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. Then, enter our American Art galleries, where writers Jason Koo, T Kira Madden, and Alice Sola Kim read from Go Home!, an anthology of…

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Film: Rafiki

January 24 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, NY 11238 + Google Map

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018, 83 min.) follows a friendship that blossoms into love between two young women, Kena and Ziki, from feuding families in Nairobi, Kenya. The film was initially banned in its home country of Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, echoing the homophobia encountered by the protagonists in their community. Rafiki was also part of a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBTQ legislation, and has…

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Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection

August 31, 2018 | 11:00 am - March 31, 2019 | 6:00 pm
Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, NY 11238 + Google Map
Free – $16

Featuring more than 100 works from our collection, Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection explores a wide range of art-making, focusing on enduring political subjects—encompassing gender, race, and class—that remain relevant today. The exhibition’s intersectional feminist framework highlights artworks, in a plurality of voices, that aim to rally support or motivate action on behalf of a cause, or to combat stereotypes and dominant narratives. Half the Picture draws its title from a 1989 Guerrilla Girls poster that…

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