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The Brooklyn Museum


New York City is home to several world class art museums. The Met, MOMA, and The Whitney would each make any city proud. There is one more world class museum in the city, one that is often overlooked -The Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn_Museum-905Elisa.rolle, via Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Museum is the third largest art museum in New York City. Its roots stretch back to 1823, when the Brooklyn Apprentices Library was formed. In 1843, the library became part of the Brooklyn Institute, and began to stage exhibitions of art and lectures on many subjects. In 1890, the Institute reorganized as the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Sciences, and included the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. During the 1970’s all four parts of the institute became independent entities.

Brooklyn_Museum,_Prospect_Park,_Brooklyn,_ca._1903-1910._[5833472204)Brooklyn Museum - Prospect Park (1910) via wikicommons

In 1897, The Brooklyn Museum moved into its permanent home on Eastern Parkway. The neo-classical building was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White, the premier New York architectural firm of its time. In 2004, a major renovation of the main lobby was completed, creating space for some larger major works to be permanently exhibited.

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The museum offers many important exhibitions every year, but I visit regularly because I love its permanent collection. In particular, I am drawn time and again to the American Art galleries. Works by American artists spanning back to native peoples before colonization are on display. It is here that I find my favorite piece in the museum - Niagara Falls by Louis Rémy Mignot.

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-6Niagara Falls by Louis Rémy Mignot

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-2The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-3Seated Couple by a Jalisco artist

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Jaguar Effigy Vessel by a Jama-Coaque artist

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Art versus Law by David Gilmore Blyth

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-8Composition (After the Storm) by Ooloosie Saila

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-9Out of Doors Study by John Singer Sargent

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Old Blue Tiled Mosque by Edwin Lord Weeks

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-11An Interesting Game by Frederick Arthur Bridgeman

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-12Pennsylvania Station Excavation by George Wesley Bellows

Lessuck - brooklyn museum-13Self-portrait in a teapot by Jonathan Lessuck

My other regular stop is the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, where I spend time at the permanent home of Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. The ceremonial banquet is staged to celebrate the lives and memories of important women in history. Thirty-nine place settings have been created, each one with an embroidered runner, unique utensils and goblets, and a china-painted porcelain plate, all decorated in styles to commemorate the individual woman being honored. The table is placed on a tiled platform that has the names of an additional 999 women inscribed in gold.

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The Brooklyn Museum holds a special place in my heart. When I was a teacher, I spent eight years at a high school that used the Brooklyn Museum, along with other museums around the city, as teaching resources, presenting themselves as additional classrooms and primary sources. The museum is a great place to explore a wide range of art.

Nuts and Bolts:
The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, and can be visited via the 2, 3 or 4 train taken to the Eastern Parkway - Brooklyn Museum station.

Entrance fees are Adults $16/ seniors, students and visitors with disabilities $10. There are additional fees for special exhibits.


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