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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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 spring 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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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
Stop by the BKM Café or BKM Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group. (Saul is temporarily closed to bring you an exciting new Brooklyn dining experience.)

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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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 (Saul is temporarily closed. Stop by our 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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.

What is this?
It is a mask created by people in the Mau culture in northern Africa. It was used in a secret society known as "koma." Only those initiated into the special society were even allowed to see this mask! Many materials were added to this mask to imbue it with spiritual power. There is even an area near the mouth where a bundle of medicinal ingredients would be added to add spiritual power to the mask.
What is this?
This is a ceremonial house figure and it has so many different animals and figures depicted on it. Organic materials help imbue this object with a special presence. After being carved in the woods, the figure would be coated in mud and painted.
What is that?
That is actually a type of piano/harpsicord called a "Spinet."
Can you tell me more about the sugar industry and its history?
Most sugar production was done on cane plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil, and the plantations were worked on by slaves. That's the general, broad-sweeping overview of the history of the sugar industry. Wealthy Europeans and American land-owners profited off of the slave-labor and the increasing global demand for sugar.
There is another tea set in this room which shows a teapot from 1876 in this room with a Chinese man's head and a sugar bowl with a Black man's head on the lid. The connection between sugar production and slavery was inherent and clear.
Okay, thank you! That helps a lot and totally makes sense. I felt like I didn't really understand the ways in which the industry functioned and for how long etc. but I think it makes more sense now that it was slave labor that made it so exploitative.
Kara Walker's work is incredible at addressing the cruelty of slavery. I wish we had her silhouette works on view, but they're currently not up. There's a really powerful painting in the American Art galleries (also on the 5th floor) that shows a family riding on a horse escaping slave conditions in the south. The artist Eastman Johnson saw the scene first-hand and was so emotionally moved he created the painting. It's called "A Ride for Liberty."
Wow. How did the vase get this rich blue color?
That is made of a really interesting material called faience, considered by Egyptologists as the first high-tech ceramic. The material is made of pure ground quartz, which has a dazzling, white look to it, which is why the ancient Egyptians called it tjehenet (dazzling).  The quartz would have several other ingredients added to it; a small part of lime or calcium oxide and soda, all found in the rich desert sands and quarries in their landscape. These ingredients were either added to it before firing in the kiln, so that the beautiful blue would rise to the surface, or it would be put in a vessel of this powder so it would be coated from the outside while fired. Faience is glazed in many different shades of green and blue, which you'll see throughout the galleries.
Hi, I'm working on a class project. Can you tell me about the Wilbour Plaque and Akhenaten?
Akhenaten was a heretical king; his beliefs went against everything else in Egyptian religion. Going against the belief that there are many many gods who make up the world and afterlife, he believed in only praising the sun disk or the Aten. Which is why he changed his name to Akhenaten. He built roofless temples to worship the sun, and didn't allow any worship of other deities. This changed the whole system of the afterlife! It also removed power from the priests of Amun at Thebes who had become more powerful than the pharaoh. During the reign of his son and successor, the Pharoah Tutankhamun, the religious system was changed back to what it was before Akhenaten.
Also, the way Akhenaten was depicted is completely different than kings before and after him. As you'll see in some of the reliefs in this room, he is depicted with very stylized curvy body, and a long, narrow face with large lips. No other king was ever shown this way!
Do you have any information on the Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-Meryre II and her son Pepy II? Do you know why the child is portrayed as a king?
He became king at the age of 6, and according to different Egyptologists he ruled for between 70-88 years. Many scholars believe that it was his long reign which led to destabilization in Egypt and deep social unrest. His mother acted as regent during his younger years, meaning that she took on the responsibilities of the Pharaoh until he matured. You'll see that this is an incredibly unusual and creative portrayal of the two figures because it gives both his mother and him the ability to be seen from the front, it kind of equalizes their shared role as ruler. Pepy II wears the nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra, showing him as king, but his small size shows that he is still a child. Under Pepy II's feet is inscribed: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II, beloved of the god Khnum, given all life, like Re, forever." and under Ankhnes-meryre's feet is written, "Mother of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god's daughter, the revered one, beloved of Khnum, Meryre-anhknes."
Also, his grandfather, Pepy I, is shown in a very similar sculpture right next to this one.
I read in the label that the ballerina was a real person, is that true?
Yes, Eugénie Fiocre (1845-1908) was quite a celebrity in her day. Originally from humble origins, she rose through the ranks of the ballet troupe at the Paris Opéra and acquired great fame and wealth, eventually even making a brilliant aristocratic marriage. This is Degas's first painting with a ballet subject and it's quite telling that he chose to show her in a moment of private thought during a rehearsal, rather than as a star performing her role. A lot of the later ballet paintings for which he is most famous take a similar approach.
She is in costume for her part though: a blue silk robe with silver braid, gold-speckled light gauze trousers, and a "Tartar" headdress in red satin embroidered with black and red pearls and gold spangles. And this ballet production really did include real water on stage, and live horses in one scene!
Very interesting! Thanks! When did the museum acquire the painting?
The painting remained in Degas's studio until his death in 1917, when it was sold to an art dealer. Then it was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum in 1921.
The label says that this is a "lion-headed goddess with Sun Disk." What exactly is a 'sun disk?'
Good question! A 'sun disk' is simply a circle that is understood to represent the sun and all that the sun itself is associated with. The sun was the most important symbol in Ancient Egyptian beliefs. It's associated with Re, the sun god, and with the daily renewal of life. The red or orange circular image above figures heads represents the sun. There were a multitude of gods associated with the sun and Re was one of the most powerful deities in the Egyptian pantheon.
What is the significance of this tree? 
Biggers was interested in the cycles of nature and life and this tree ties them all together. The canvas is divided into 4 seasons, winter is at the left. Within the tree, you'll see many species in all stages of life (and death). They are then fed back into another cycle through decay and rebirth.
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.