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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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.

I love this but I'm curious what material is woven into it? Glass?
That's a great question! Those are pieces of colored fiberglass, plastic, with glass fibers strengthening it.
In the early 1960s, it would have been very unusual to incorporate a synthetic material like fiberglass into a work of art! Here, he contrasts it with natural materials like wood and natural fibers, perhaps jute?
I also like its placement behind that table by Noguchi which also combines materials and uses organic-looking forms.
I love woven pieces like that and I completely agree that table is awesome.
Hallman definitely played a big part in establishing fiber/textile art as a fine art form!
I like the combinations of paintings and furniture that the curators have installed in that gallery. The Art Deco dressing table and the abstract paintings over/around it are also worth a look, just behind you!
I saw! Amazing!
Those paintings on the wall. They're loaned from the housing authority?
They are, yes. During the Great Depression about one-third of New Yorkers were living in slums. T Mayor wanted to change that, so he established the New York Housing Authority. One of the Housing Authority's initiatives was to build new homes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the architect of this housing development commissioned famous artists to decorate common rooms in the basements of these new buildings with murals. These are some of those murals!
I have some WPA posters of national parks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. It was such an interesting time that a lot of great art came from.
Wow, cool! Yes, it definitely was. FDR was a huge proponent of funding artists during that time, which I think is an amazing idea.
I like the Madonna of Humility, that look on her face. 
She seems serene and also powerful at the same time. Typically, the Madonna’s face expresses sweetness and a certain sadness, foreshadowing the harsh fate of her infant child. The 'trope' for the Madonna of Humility often will show Mary seated modestly on the ground, or a cushion, emphasizing her humility and compassion for mankind.
Does one need a good reading of the Bible to really appreciate European art from this time period?
It is certainly extremely helpful as most people knew the Bible through preaching, images or scripture. However, you can certainly appreciate the beauty of the Madonna’s expression, the treatment of the cloth and brilliant illusionism, as the figure appears to float through the frame against the golden angel without referring to a religious text. In many cases such images were designed to evoke an expression of faith on behalf of the beholder especially those (such as this one) that were meant for private devotion at home. The faithful often prayed in silent devotion or read from a book of hours before such images. In turn the image was meant to watch over them, help grant their prayers and afford comfort.
Humility is so rare in a narcissistic age. It's a real gem.
True, however, much of this art had a sort of "propagandistic" agenda, if you will. Paintings like this were commissioned by churches so that people who were illiterate could still get the gist. Or, adults would commission such paintings for their homes to inspire their family members (think rowdy children) to behave with humility. Seeing the Virgin Mary as a humble figure was meant to inspire humility in the followers of Christ--not necessarily the most sincere way to inspire humility in people!
That's a great insight, I like that context.
There was a Russian modern piece that I like too. It was a father drunk or tired, with his two babies/kids on the floor. Russian Art. There's a sadness but truth behind it.
Ah, yes! The piece by Viola Pushkarova, you're following a theme, Soviet Realism was definitely propaganda.
I should look at all art, and ask is this propaganda first? Could you tell me more about that piece, was it meant to solicit sympathy and empathy for the Russian family, working class?
That's definitely a good question to ask! Not all art is, of course, but it's a way to look deeper and consider the meaning behind the work. Regarding the Pushkarova, Soviet Realism was the only artwork deemed acceptable by the Soviet Union. The painting shows a young man, exhausted from being a good Soviet citizen, he has finished his studies, worked hard and taken care of his family.
The art is not so much to solicit sympathy as it was meant to inspire others to be as good a citizen as this man, he is exhausted from being a good, model Soviet man. It was, again, more of an advertisement, like the Madonna of Humility. While this is one way of reading it, perhaps Pushkarova had another deeper message. Can you really be the perfect citizen? Can the government be asking the impossible? Afterall, who is really watching the kids, if the husband is dosing?
Wow! I looked at it and thought he's drunk and is neglecting his children, but now I withhold that judgement.         
Wow, that's so interesting! Because I know about the history of Soviet Realism I never would have thought of that but I totally get why you would see that.
Of course, out of Soviet Realism came the push-back of the Russian Revolution and art completely changed--that was when the Bolsheviks called for a power to the working class, sort of what you were saying before. You can see some of that on view in Agitprop!, if you make your way to the 4th floor at any point this evening.
I think throughout history a lot of government funded art tried to boost morale.
Oh, totally! I mean, during the Great Depression in the US the WPA funded art was totally propagandistic.(Although the creative response of the artists often defy sheer propaganda).  Also, on the 5th floor in American Art we have a large Bierstadt painting that was propaganda to inspire people to travel out west during Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny, it happens all the time. It is also an expression of the sublime, so once again, great artists can defy mere propaganda.
Thanks, I'll try to check out that special exhibition after the film.
You guys have a meat slicer on exhibit!
We sure do! The meat slicer is representative of the streamlined design developed in the 1930's.
I never thought of it as being a clean, efficient machine but it is.
It is always interesting when seemingly ordinary objects become part of museum exhibitions. It always reminds me that this technology and design were once ground breaking and innovative! From a salesman's memo: "The Hobart Meat Slicer is an excellent example of how a piece of machinery can be designed to do a better job, to be easier to manipulate and at the same time easier on the eye."
I'll bet that machine enabled some really good NY deli sandwiches!
I'm sure it did!
You have a lot of rooms to look into on the fourth floor, I like it.
In 1914, Luke Vincent Lockwood, a pioneering scholar and collector of American colonial furniture, joined the museum’s Board of Trustees. He initiated a concerted effort to match the drive of other major American institutions to assemble a collection of period rooms, which were amassed between 1915 and 1929.
New Yorkers are also obsessed with looking into other people's apartments, so this is fun to do. I wonder, are the interiors idealized?
That's an interesting observation! The rooms definitely idealize ideas of the home and the family and the lives of American people however, it must also be noted that many of these homes are of the upper-middle class, so they would have had nice belongings as well.
It may also give New Yorkers something to aspire to and recreate for their own home, seeing America's living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
I'm sure they inspired some folks! What's more American than an American looking home that you own?
That Kas is impressive!
It is! You may have noticed in the label that it has its origins in the Netherlands. Interestingly, Dutch art also idealizes interiors dating back to paintings of Biblical scenes placed in Dutch interiors beginning in the Renaissance.
I want to go antiquing now for a peace like that! It's a bold statement.
Good luck! Every home needs some bold statements.
What can you tell me about this jar?
This is a ceramic jar that dates to 550-950 AD, from the Maya culture. Mayan ceramics are known for depicting ceremonies and rituals honoring the deceased or the spiritual world.
The colors are generally red or a dark brown on a white slip background, and sometimes the designs are incised instead of painted. The designs also appear in textiles. If you get a chance, take a look at the Paracas Textile on the 5th floor in "Life, Death, and Transformation."                       
Thank you!
It's says this pot is one of 12. Where are the other 11 pots?
It was originally part of the Zuni Siathosa shrine (at Towoyalnai Mountain in New Mexico), but all were removed and the in the hands of various dealers or collectors when Culin visited the Southwest. So the short answer is, we don't know where the other 11 pots are.
Was Tanner interested in the work of Claude Monet? The colors in this painting remind me of French Impressionism.
That's interesting, I have never thought of it that way. Henry Ossawa Tanner was heavily inspired by the artist James McNeill Whistler, who experimented with tonal harmonies in his painting.
Here, Tanner is depicting the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with a crowd gathered at the Place d'Etoile, you aren't far off in thinking about French Impressionism in terms of subject matter. 
Thanks! I love how the image appears to be constantly fading, but is vibrant and symbolic. Again, thanks much!
I totally agree. Let us know if you have more questions as you explore!
What is this?
Good find! It's called "OLPC XO Laptop." It was designed in 2006 by Yves Behar from Switzerland. The idea was to create a computer that was affordable and would be useful (especially for children) in the developing world. That's why it has those antennae to pick up data signals!
What is this made out of?
Amoeba Rocking Chair designed by Isabelle Moore is made out of plywood covered in recycled, multi-colored plastic.
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.