Skip Navigation

When you visit the Brooklyn Museum, you can use our app to ask us questions or chat about the artwork you see.

You’ll be connected with a team of art historians and educators who know our collection, can answer your questions, and can give you recommendations on what to see next. 

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Explore our permanent collection or a special exhibition on a guided group tour led by one of our friendly and experienced Museum Guides, or on your own with a self-guided group tour. These tours are for adult groups with at least 10 people, last about one hour, and can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your group.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're renovating our second floor to bring you a better experience, which means the Libraries and Archives are closed to the public until fall 2017. If you're a researcher who would like to access our resources, send us an email and we'll do our best to assist you.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

Also on the Third Floor: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Parking
Parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays, there's a flat rate of $6 starting at 5 p.m. Park your bicycle in the rack behind the building, next to our sculpture garden.

Shopping
Our Shop offers an eclectic mix of gifts, jewelry, books, clothing, crafts, and foods from around Brooklyn and around the world. Shop hours

Dining
Have small plates, dinner, or drinks at The Norm restaurant and bar, led by Michelin-starred Chef Saul Bolton. Or stop by the BKM Café or Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group.

Rest Rooms
Rest rooms are on the first and third floors (floor plan), are wheelchair accessible, and have baby-changing tables. A family rest room is located just off the main lobby.

Coat Check
A free coat check is available on the first floor, where you can leave any packages, large bags, umbrellas, or strollers.

Wheelchairs
Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the coat check on the first floor. Our entrances and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our Accessibility page.

Strollers
You're welcome to use strollers throughout the building (although from time to time there are certain areas where we might need to restrict their use, on account of small spaces, especially fragile art, or other circumstances). If necessary, leave your stroller at the coat check.

Wireless Access
We offer free wireless access throughout our galleries and grounds. During your visit, we encourage you to switch to wifi (BrooklynMuseum) for faster download speeds. The wireless project was created by the Brooklyn Museum Technology Department, with help from NYCWireless.

Go Mobile
Need information on the go? Planning your next visit? Access www.brooklynmuseum.org from your mobile phone to view our mobile-friendly website.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're committed to making our galleries and facilities accessible to everyone.

  • We are fully wheelchair accessible. Check our online and printed floor plan for details.
  • If you need a wheelchair during your visit, they're available for free at the coat check in the lobby.
  • Companions of people with disabilities are admitted for free.
  • The parking lot behind the Museum is fully accessible. There's a free, 15-minute grace period for pickups and dropoffs.
  • If you need an assistive-listening device, they're available for free at our Admissions Desk, on the first floor.

We also offer a wide range of services for our visitors of all ages with special needs.

  • For those who have low or no vision, guided visits that include verbal descriptions can be scheduled for both adult and school groups, with advance notice. We also offer Sensory Tours, monthly public tours designed to accommodate and engage both sighted and non-sighted visitors. Verbal descriptions of collection highlights are available via Art Beyond Sight.
  • For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, American Sign Language interpretation for both adult and school group tours can be arranged, with advance notice.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities or other special needs, we offer specially tailored guided gallery visits to adult and school groups.

We hope that you'll get in touch with us via email or at 718.501.6229 if you have questions about any of the above services, or if you'd like to make advance arrangements.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

No matter what your interest, there's a tour for you:

  • Join our Museum Guides for daily public tours (free with admission) focusing on a variety of themes, eras, and movements in art.
  • Book a group tour for ten or more adults.
  • Explore tours and programs for school groups, all designed to help students and teachers construct meaningful experiences with works of art.
ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

  • Admissions Desk
  • Museum Shop
  • Dining (The Norm restaurant and bar; BKM Café and Bowl)

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

By Subway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Transfer to 2/3 from 4/5 (at Nevins Street) and B, D, Q, N, R, and LIRR (at Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center). See a subway map. Make sure to check with the MTA for any service changes, especially on the weekend.


By Bus

The closest bus stops are:

B41 and B69 at Grand Army Plaza

B45 at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue

Check with the MTA for the most up-to-date bus information.


By Car

From Manhattan:

Brooklyn Bridge; left at Tillary Street; right on Flatbush Avenue for about 1.5 miles to Grand Army Plaza; about 2/3 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at the first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue). Or: Manhattan Bridge enters directly onto Flatbush Avenue.

From Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, or Connecticut:

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough) to Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE); Manhattan Bridge exit to Tillary Street; left onto Flatbush Avenue and proceed according to the directions from Manhattan.

From Staten Island and southern or central New Jersey:

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Gowanus Expressway (Route 278 towards Manhattan); exit to 38th Street; left on Fourth Avenue for about 2 miles; right on Union Street; 5 blocks to Grand Army Plaza; go 1/2 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

From northern or north central New Jersey:

George Washington Bridge/Holland or Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan; follow directions from Manhattan.

From Long Island:

Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson Parkway; exit at Bushwick Avenue; left at third traffic light to Eastern Parkway; about 3 miles to Washington Avenue. We're across intersection at left.


Parking

On-site parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays there's a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5 p.m.


Bikes

Park your bicycle at the racks behind the Museum, next to the Sculpture Garden. Bikes are parked at your own risk; we don't accept responsibility for vandalism or theft.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Stacy Tolman was based in Boston when he painted this, and he liked to depict artists and musicians at work. The setting is most likely the studio he shared with another artist. 
Artists in the 1880s often decorated their studios with beautiful objects that they had collected on travels, to show that they were very cultured, and other interesting things that they might want to use as props in their art. For example, there's an Asian parasol on the wall in this scene.
Westerners (including Americans) were very interested in Japanese art, in particular, during this time. You will see other Asian-inspired furniture and objects near this painting.
What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.
Were cats commonly portrayed with earrings? Why?
It definitely was common to show domesticated cats wearing earrings as well as collars and amulets around their necks. Cats were identified with the goddess Bastet and Bastet was often shown in art as a woman with a cat's head. Conversely, cats were shown with earrings and other jewelry of a human female to help make that connection.
The label says this is Nefertiti and her daughter but I wonder whose arm that is coming from sky above and what it is offering to them. Do you know?
Yes, it is indeed Nefertiti and her daughter. The arm from the sky holding the ankh is thought to be the hand of the sun god Aten. The arm would actually be extending from a sun disk.
What do the ankh and the gesture symbolize?
The ankh is literally the hieroglyph for the ancient Egyptian word for "life." The hand can be seen as blessing or symbolically giving life to the queen and princess. This relief is also interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged.
Why? She was a cruel leader?
No, they associated her with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism (only one god). After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way (by damaging the art/faces/names). Akhenaten was referred to as the "heretic pharaoh" if at all because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
Do you have any ankh that I can see?
Well, the ankh is a hieroglyph (like a letter), so you can see it on many objects and murals throughout the Egyptian galleries, and many on the mummy cases or coffins. Some big, well-preserved painted examples can be seen on the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, which is prominent in the galleries.
The painters of the Barbizon School were really interested in landscape painting; they wanted to depict nature directly, outside of the classical conventions. That's why you'll see so many landscapes in a  similar style on that wall.
I do love Fontainebleau.
Many of the Barbizon school painters worked in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, as nature, rather than urban life, provided inspiration for their works. They got their name from the nearby village of Barbizon.
What is this all about?
The artist intentionally distressed the canvas in various ways. The painting is actually melted and burned. And the artist had the original idea of how the bottom should look, but a member of the conservation team had to get involved to make sure that all the pieces are always accounted for. They are affixed to the floor now! You may have already found the label, but it talks about how the decay can relate to the ravages of nature or the end of a certain type of landscape painting.  
How was it used perhaps? The shape is weird, maybe it was a pediment for headboard for a bed?
That's a great question! Let me look into that and see if I can find an answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that this a later version of a full-length work entitled "My Children," which is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thayer sometimes made copies of his own paintings, and he deliberately left this one looking "unfinished" to show his process of making the painting.
The shape you see here certainly does recall Italian Renaissance altarpieces, and the imagery itself alludes to the art historical past of the Renaissance (for example, depictions of angels, or of the Virgin and Child).
The frame was made specifically for this painting.
The pattern on the skirt is a reference to a specific king's reign. The skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and leaf forms. Leopards are often symbols of powerful individuals like the king memorialized by this work. You may have read this on the label, but "A motif on the figure's kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, who ruled from 1504 to 1550."
The decoration around the top edge of the ceiling is interesting. What's the story on that?
The general style of this room, part of the Aesthetic Movement, was influenced by the Moors in northwest Africa and southern Spain.
So lots of detailing and decoration, like the Ahlambra in Spain.
One interesting fact about this room: the house where this room was located was demolished after Rockefeller died, and the land was given to the Museum of Modern Art. Their sculpture garden is in the location where this room used to be! Something nice to think of next time you visit.
Would this much fruit be realistic? I thought of fruit as really expensive/hard to come by until our time. Also how wealthy was the family that lived here? What were their occupations?
The lemons and limes would have had to be imported and grown potted. So it could be a symbol of wealth chosen by our curator to include citrus fruits.
The owner of this house was originally Dutch, they settled in the area in the 1650s. Jan Martense Schenck became a miller. So though he wasn't exceedingly wealthy, they could afford some luxuries.
None of the furniture or stylings inside the house are original, the curators have made specific choices to give a larger narrative about lifestyle in early colonial Breuckelen (Brooklyn), and innovations in design and international trade at the time.
For example, including different types of glass, porcelain and silver objects hints at the proposed wealth of the owners.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.