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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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

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

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.

Why does this cat have a gem on top of its head? What does this represent?
That gem is actually a representation of a scarab beetle which was symbolized the early morning sun, something very important to the ancient Egyptians. Cats were also closely associated with the sun. If you look around that special exhibition, you will see other felines depicted with accoutrements and jewelry and this wasn't uncommon in ancient Egyptian art. However, we don't know if the Egyptians would put jewelry on their living cats!
Did this figure come with a collar? I can see there's a mark around the neck.
A collar or necklace was an accessory figures of cats would be seen with, among other forms of jewelry. There is a great statue head of a cat in that exhibition with gold earrings. However, in the case of this particular statue, the head had broken off and was re-attached by conservators.
What kind of black ink do they use to write on papyrus?
The black ink used was created by mixing soot with water.
Why are there scratch marks around the faces?
This relief is interesting because of the extensive damage on Nefertiti's face and the names that had been written in hieroglyphs on the side. This is evidence of the violence directed at images of Nefertiti after her death. Although the princess's image has not been touched, the queen's face has been badly damaged. The people who did the damage associated the Queen with her husband Akhenaten, who had violently opposed the previous system of religion and gods and had tried to make his reign a time of monotheism. After his death, some people tried to erase the evidence of this monotheistic society and his reign in the same way, by damaging the art/faces/names. Akhenaten was even known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians.
So the people who did the damage also destroyed the rest of this piece? Like the other parts of this relief?
It is likely that that is the case because of the tradition of damage done to images of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. However, we don't know for sure if that is the case with this work.
Thank you for your answers! I noticed that there is some blue on both Nefertiti and her daughter. There's orange and red on their faces too. What kind of material did they use for that and is there any specific purposes?
Great question, I love how closely you're looking at these works! Generally, women's skin was a gold tone and men's skin was an orange/red, you can see this in the other galleries. However, because the art of the Amarna period differed so vastly from other periods, perhaps this was a stylistic change too. Because the two female figures shown certainly look more orange/red than yellow.
For paint colors, they would have been mineral and plant based pigments created by artists and applied to the stone.
Oh yes, I noticed that color change. I remember the whole piece of this and there are several hands/rays coming out from the sun, is there any specific reason for that? 
The hands coming down are the hands of the Aten (the sun god and only god during Akhenaten's reign) and the Aten holds an ankh which was the Egyptian hieroglyph for life.
Was this built before or after his death?
It's likely that it was created while Akhenaten was still alive because after his death he was not a popular figure and people actually destroyed images of him. There is no evidence of images of Akhenaten being created after his death.
That's true, good point.
What is carved into his chest?
Those rounded carvings are known as cartouches. Cartouche is the French term for cartridge; its used by Egyptologists to describe the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.
Can you tell me anything more about Akhenanten?
Sure, Akhenaten is known as the "heretic pharaoh" because he broke with the traditional religious structure of the Egyptians. Originally named Amenhotep IV, when he came to power he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means, "the effective one/spirit of the Aten". Under his reign the people of Egypt were supposed to exclusively worship the Aten (a sun god that he put in place of Re or Ra) and Akhenaten had statues of other gods and goddesses destroyed so they could no longer be worshipped. Also, Akhenaten was married to the famous Queen Nefertiti.
Was the Book of the Dead read horizontally, up and down or left to right? Or long ways, left to right or up and down?
This Book of the Dead is read down from right to left. We have a curator who is currently working on a translation and publication of the full text of that Book of the Dead, we are all anxious to see it when it's complete!
Wow, what a huge assignment!
I know, I can't imagine working on such a project. It will be a huge asset to scholars everywhere once it is complete!
Nice timing, I found George Washington.
You may know this already but this is one of the Stuart's "Lansdowne portraits" of Washington. The first one in the series hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
I didn't know that, cool. I'm from Australia and have a limited knowledge of American history, actually.
Oh! Well, this is an iconic portrait of Washington. The painting is full of symbolism, drawn from both American and ancient Roman symbols of the Roman Republic (because the U.S. was trying to build up its reputation as a new nation at the time by connecting to older empires). You can see the columns from the table cloth being pulled up. Washington's suit is plain and simple, and the sword that he holds on his left side is a dress sword and not a battle sword, symbolizing a democratic form of government, rather than a monarchy or military dictatorship. In the sky, storm clouds appear on the left while a rainbow appears on the right, signifying the American Revolutionary War giving way to the peace and prosperity of the new United States after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The medallion at the top of the chair shows the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag.
That is great information, thanks. Australia has used similar methods in its architecture to incorporate Greek and Roman symbols. Rather than embracing indigenous peoples and history, the colonial government decided to try and build the nation's history by associating with European culture.
I feel like that happens across so many cultures and it is such a shame. Maybe someday the processes will be different as we move further and further away from those ancient histories.
Agreed, I'm leaving the Museum now. So, thanks to you and your team for making my Brooklyn Museum experience more engaging and insightful :)
We are so happy you enjoyed the app and we had fun chatting with you! Thanks again for trying it out and enjoy the rest of your day.
I'd like to know what the white horizontal line across the model's hip is.
Nude models will sometimes wear these small garments to have a bit of privacy or modesty while modeling. It is interesting here that Koch decided to depict it. Other artists might have eliminated it.
I see! So, it's like tanga shorts? Also, what is the theme of the sculpture behind the artist?
It's actually even smaller, more like a thong. And the subject of the sculpture is the myth of Prometheus. Do you know the story?
Yeah, the fire! I got it.
Excellent, yes! There are many layers to this painting and it was actually originally titled "Prometheus" before being changed to "The Sculptor."
It's very beautiful. Though the subject is contemporary, I like the addition of the myths. Now I feel like I totally understand this painting.
Did anyone ever sit in this chair?
Breuer pieces were certainly created and sold to be used and the donors did indeed purchase these and use them in their home before gifting them to the Museum. 
Thanks!
Of course! Keep the questions coming!
What is she doing?
Interesting question as scholars still debate to this day what exactly she is doing. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them. She could also represent a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral.
Interesting, thanks!
You're welcome!
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.