Skip Navigation

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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 really enjoy this quote by Hassam: "If I want to observe night effects carefully, I stand out in the street with my little sketchbook, draw figures and shadows, and note down in colored crayons the tones seen in the sky, in the snow, in the reflections, or in a gas lamp shining through the haze."
Is this a death mask?
Good guess! The piece shows a man with his eyes closed and his skin molded very loosely. Very similar to funerary masks we see from Ancient Egypt and other similar civilizations. However, this piece was made in 1931, so it's not really ancient.
What made you think of it as a death mask?
The Japanese don't have a custom to make death masks. So it gave me a strange impression.
Very good observation. Noguchi is Japanese American, but he's drawing parallels between customs from ancient civilizations and putting them in the modern world. His father was Japanese, but he wasn't present in Noguchi's life, so Noguchi may have felt conflicted about his Japanese heritage
Why did the Museum put a Matisse next to a Monet? Is there a symbolism behind painting placement?
Well, that wall is installed chronologically and the Monet and Matisse were painted just two years apart, despite their great difference in style. Another possible answer to your question is that Monet (particularly in this late period) had a great deal of influence on Matisse and artists of his generation. Especially in terms of the expressive possibilities of color.
Ok, I could see that. This pairing just seemed so much darker. I didn't know if they had something in common.
Well the subject of all the pictures on this wall is landscape. Though Monet's picture is certainly depicting a very different kind of landscape than Matisse. Regarding color though, there is a contrast here as well. Monet's intention was to "document" the surprisingly colored atmosphere created by the sun and fog in London over the Thames. Matisse, on the other hand, isn't intending to reproduce the colors he sees in nature at all (or at least not only that). Many of his colors are exaggerated or even arbitrary.
Cool. Thanks!
We're checking out the sculptures in front of the museum through the window. Did this headless guy always have a fig leaf on his lap?
That sculpture is actually a lady! She's an allegorical figure of Brooklyn. She was made in 1915-16 and originally decorated the Manhattan Bridge. She was removed from the bridge and added to the Museum facade in 1963.
Huh, interesting. How does she represent Brooklyn?
Allegorical figures tend to hold attributes that signify the abstract concept they are representing. In this case, she's holding a lyre symbolizing music, a Roman tablet indicating study, and a reading child typifying the borough’s well-filled schools. Brooklyn’s composition also includes “emblems of Art and Progress” and she is crowned with a laurel wreath.
This woman has got to be the wealthiest, right?
Both portraits are intended to convey the wealth, elegance, and elite status of the sitter through material means, but due to different national tastes and fashions they do so rather differently. Any particular reason you thought Mrs. Abigail Pickman Gardiner here is the wealthier of the two?
The other woman seemed to be more ostentatious in her display of wealth, maybe trying harder to cover up a less-than-affluent status.
Interesting, so like a "nouveau riche"!
Yes, exactly!
In her particular case though, that's not the case. Doña Maria de la Luz Padilla y Cervantes (1732-1789) came from the well-known and impeccable Cervantes lineage, who allied themselves through marriage to another very prestigious and old family, the Velasco, who were former viceroys of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. Here she is represented in the pinnacle of fashion for 18th-century Mexico City. Her fine Chinese silk brocade dress was probably imported from Valencia, Spain, and is enhanced by her powdered hair, elaborate jewelry and her five chiqueadores (the glued false beauty spots made of black velvet.)
Mrs. Gardiner on the other hand was the wife of the wealthy landowner and physician Sylvester Gardiner, who had made his fortune importing drugs for distribution and sale. (So she was more the "nouveau riche" of the two!) She is shown in a daringly uncorseted costume "à la turque," which was all the rage in London and served to attest to Mrs. Gardner's modern taste. Although her elegant costume seems less extravagant than Doña Maria's, its yards of silk and subtle pearl trim were not cheap.
And of course, Mrs. Gardner's substantial figure also conveyed her affluence. In the 18th century, extra body weight was a sign of being able to afford a plentiful diet.
Woah. That's incredible. That's maybe what threw us off: her weight relative to the other. Thanks!
No problem! 
Do we know who this guy is?
The sitter for this portrait was never identified by Degas himself, but scholars have suggested he may be the British painter Robert Grahame, who was known for his still-life works. You'll see that some of the objects in the portrait are arrangements of food for still-life studies! The French art historian Henri Loyrette has a theory on the sitter that he will publish in June, 2016 in the catalogue accompanying the Degas retrospective in Melbourne (Australia) and Houston. Stay tuned!
Thanks!
You're welcome! 
Do you know if this is the original coloring of this shabti? I have never seen one in such beautiful condition and I am wondering if any conservation or restoration has been done on it.
That is a beautiful piece! It's made of faience, a type of glazed mineral ceramic.
This dynasty was especially known for its opulence. I don't have access to the full conservation records so I can't say definitively, but my understanding is that the colors are original. In any case, it's considered an exceptional example of shabti.
It really is! The 18th Dynasty was a pretty impressive time, but even for the New Kingdom this is amazing.
We often refer to the cartonnage of Nespanetjere as a really fine example of an object whose colors have been well-preserved, with such detailed imagery.
I'll keep my eyes open for that, thanks! The objects in this collection are in great condition, it's hard to believe it's so well preserved. I'm already cajoling friends into making a return trip.
We do have a major Egyptian collection. I've only been here since March, so I'm still learning about it! Our Egyptian curators have been very generous with their knowledge and time.
Did she often design frames to go with her work?
No, we only know of a few cases where O'Keeffe did this. She may have been learning from other artists in her circle, like John Marin and Arthur Dove, who frequently designed frames for their own art.
I love this one. Any fun facts?
The artist was an American living in France. He had a country home with a scenic view of the Seine river, which may be the background we see here. He was trained in the French academic style, which prized fine detail, a very polished/finished appearance, and idealization of nature and people.
He actually hired models to pose for him and gave them rustic-looking costumes to wear rather than depicting real country-folk. That may be why the young woman looks so fresh and untouched by the elements.
That must be why she looks so elegant despite the ragged clothes.
And here's a fun fact: the previous owner of this painting was Abraham Abraham (same first and last names!), one of the founders of the department store Abraham & Straus.
Why is the Griffin of Nemesis blue?
That blue is a glaze on a material called faience, it was prized because it looked like even more expensive materials such as lapis lazuli, a blue stone, or turquoise. It's like a ceramic, made primarily from desert sand. Added minerals like copper create this vibrant blue when the piece is fired at extremely high temperatures. For the ancient Egyptians, the colors blue and green symbolized the color of water, vegetation, and thus health and life.
In mythology, Nemesis is a goddess who dealt out divine retribution for crimes or excessive pride, an avenger! The wheel may signify the constant turning of fate, with all its ups and downs, a wheel of fortune.
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.