This past weekend my husband and I visited the magnificent 560,000-square-foot Brooklyn Museum, located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when it re-opens on a new page)
The museum is only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station located very close to the museum entrance. There is also a paid parking lot next to the adjoining Brooklyn Botanical Garden. You can buy a "Art and Garden Ticket" at the Brooklyn Museum and present your receipt for same-day admission to the garden.
The beautiful Beaux Arts building was opened in 1897 and founded by Augustus Graham. 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. It hosts many special exhibits as well as long term installations.
Here are a few of my favorite paintings from the American Art Collection:
One of the last works that O'Keeffe painted in New York before her permanent relocation to New Mexico in 1949, is considered her farewell to the city where she had lived and worked for many years. The Brooklyn Bridge is near and dear to my heart and O'Keeffe's image has always been one of my favorites.
Mt. Rosalie is now called Mt. Evans. Bierstadt established his artistic reputation with "Great Pictures" of the American West. Having visited Colorado many times since my son and his family live there I am always attracted to Rocky Mountain views.
Self-taught artist and Quaker preacher Edward Hicks painted approximately sixty versions of The Peaceable Kingdom. I have always found the scene of the "lion lying down with a lamb" a wonderful symbol of peace and redemption.
Sargent painted compelling landscape and figure subjects, including this image of his friend Paul César Helleu and his wife, Alice by plein-air using an Impressionist-inspired technique. The red canoe, grassy shore and painter hard at work while his wife rest nearby reminds me of a beautiful, relaxed summer day.
The view is taken from the American side of the great Horseshoe Falls, facing the Canadian shore. Looking at this painting I felt as if I could hear the water thundering down the side of the cliff and feel its spray on my face! It brought back memories of trips I've taken to Niagara Falls, where I have experiences just such wonderful things.
This bronze bust is a replica of the head of a standing Lincoln completed by Saint-Gaudens in 1887 on commission for the City of Chicago's Lincoln Park. Lincoln in 3D is always the best way to appreciate the features of his interesting face.
George Washington. On the left painting by Charles Wilson Peale on the right painting by Gilbert Stuart
The Peale portrait was commissioned by John Hancock of Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in order to flatter and reward him for liberating Boston from the British in March 1776.
Gilbert Stuart portrayed George Washington several times in this stately, full-length portrait format known as the Grand Manner, and filled the painting with many iconic American details.
The differences in Washington from his somewhat youthful face from the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776, to his aged look during the years of his presidency beginning in 1789 are fascinating to see side by side as the paintings are displayed in the Brooklyn Museum. It seems from the office of our first president, being the president ages a man!
One area of interest in the Brooklyn Museum is the Luce Center for American Art on the 5th Floor. It is a 5,000 square-foot dense display in the Visible Storage and Study Center which offers an inside look at how museums work and provides a glimpse of the breadth and scope of the Brooklyn Museum's extensive American collections. Whereas only about 350 works are on view in the adjacent American Identities exhibition, this facility gives open access to some 2,000 of the many thousands of American objects held in storage, which are now available for viewing and research by students, scholars, and the general public.
Glass display cases contain a selection of archived objects from the American decorative arts collection: pewter, commemorative pressed glass, Tiffany glass and lamps, examples of contemporary industrial design and furniture, silver, eighteenth-century furniture, nineteenth-century seating furniture with original upholstery, and Brooklyn-made ceramics.
It is fascinating to think that as large as the Brooklyn Museum's building is, just a small fraction of the permanent collections can be displayed in its limited exhibition gallery space! To open some of the storage space for a glimpse of it's contents in this way was wonderful to explore.
It was also wonderful to see so many students and artists hard at work copying artwork in the museum and enjoying the galleries.
There is a lot more to show about from Brooklyn Museum and I will be doing a few more posts about it this week. In my next post I'll show the special exhibit we wanted to see at the museum before the show closed.
Linking up to My World Tuesday hosted by Klaus, and the My World team, Ruby Tuesday by Mary's The Work of the Poet blog, Outdoor Wednesday on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday on Sue's blog It's A Very Cherry World
Please visit their wonderful blogs next and join in all the fun!