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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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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 are so many noses missing? Is it just age and wear?
In some cases, yes! When statues fall, the noses tend to be the point of impact, as well. Many statues may have had their noses removed late as a way to "kill" the statue and soul of a deceased person.
Why was this blank piece of paper selected for the exhibition?
Can you see the image? It seems blank now but you may have to move around a little. 
Toyin Ojih Odutola is a visual artist who creates drawings utilizing a variety of media. "A Legless Bird "was made with white charcoal on white paper. Odutola is interested in conversations about "whiteness" and how race is perceived and only understood if you change your perspective from a dominate one to a less familiar one. Using the perceived invisibility of the white charcoal, Odutola presents us with an interesting metaphor for race and the invisibility of "whiteness" in America. 
O wow I can see it now! Didn't realize you have to work to see what was being hidden! I didn't even realize something was being hidden. Interesting metaphor for sure!
Can you tell me about the chins please?
I think what you may be referring to are the false beards. In general, many Egyptians shaved their heads and faces and wore wigs. Pharaohs especially would wear false beards as well as a symbol of their divine right to rule. Many deities are shown with false beards as well. The individuals you see on this coffin fragment are three of the four sons of the god Horus.
Could you tell me more about the four sons?
Sure! Their names are Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, and Qebehsenuef and are essentially the personifications of the four Canopic jars. Are you familiar with Canopic Jars?
No, please tell me.
When Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead part of the process included removal of many of the internal organs. The liver, intestines, stomach, and lungs would be mummified separately and placed in these jars so that the deceased could take them to the afterlife. The lids of the jars would be in the shape of the heads of the Four Sons of Horus. Their heads might be shown as human like they are depicted in the coffin fragment you sent or they may be depicted with the head of their animal characteristics (a jackal, a human, and baboon, and a falcon) like many other Egyptian deities.
Can you tell me which figure worked with which organ?
Imsety, the human, protected the liver; Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach; Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs; and Qebehsenuef, the falcon, protected the intestines. The heart was often placed back in the body and the brain was discarded all-together.
You may find many depictions of the Four Sons of Horus in the Mummy Chamber exhibition as they obviously have strong connection to Ancient Egyptian funerary practices.
And the discs above the heads?
Those are sun disks! Solar worship was very important in Ancient Egypt and many deities were tied to the sun in some way in addition to the primary solar deities like Ra, Horakhty, and Khepry.
On the Lady Tuty sculpture, what is the thing that looks like a cone on her head?
The cone represents a perfumed cone that wealthy Ancient Egyptians would wear on top of their heads at special occasions. The cones melted into their wigs and clothing thus giving off a fragrance.
Where did the ivory come from to make these figurines? Thanks!
These figurines are made of whale teeth, which can also be referred to as ivory. Whale teeth, and other materials found in the ocean, were often seen as special in coastal, Andean South America.
So the coastal Peruvians were whalers/hunters or just waited for dead whales to wash up onshore? Or they traded with other groups that hunted them?
It depends. They had extensive trade networks along the Pacific coast. For example, they imported a lot of shells from warmer waters. Their boats were often quite small so I'm not sure how much hunting of large sea creatures they did.
Cool, thanks so much!
Is this made from actual barbed wire? Where are the razors from the barbed wires?
Yes, the artist Walter Oltmann used actual Razor wire in his work to call back to apartheid era in South Africa and the painful history of segregation. The metal weaving also references the traditional folk art of the Zulu peoples who also live in South Africa. 
Oltmann touches upon how bristles are used not only to keep things out, but also as a means of protection. Think of bristles on insects. Personally, I appreciate that the objects are simultaneously deeply seductive and also acutely dangerous.  
Tell me about Bristle disguise
This work is by Walter Oltmann, a white South African artist. The majority of Oltmann's practice took place during South African apartheid, so he has a deep understanding and concern for "otherness" and separation. Here Oltmann uses Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" as a springboard for discussion of protection and repulsion and how artificial constructs disconnects us from the reality. He uses insects as way of examining how we create an "otherness" to look at race and identity. Oltmann is attempting to invite us in to a position of empathy -- to imagine what it's like to "wear"/embody these insectoid outfits, and walk in a body that has been made to feel so distinct from one's own.These drawings and sculptures are simultaneously deeply enticing and disturbing don't you think? 
What is the technology here? None of this seems like technology, it seems religious.
The artist Saya Woolfalk describes African masks and masquerade as a technology that allows the wearer to transform. Here the masks and ChimaTek offer the viewer the ability to embody an "empathic" -- a sort of human-plant-animal hybrid. Her installations are an attempt to capture and recreate the intense spiritual experiences that can be achieved through dancing in African masquerade. So think of this as a blending of technology and spirit. 
Considering African masks as both technology and spiritual is a rather wild and new concept, but makes a lot of sense, don't you think?
It is amazing to see artists using masks, this long tradition and culture in their artwork.
It really is. Their work really shows how important these traditions are and that they're living and growing in the contemporary world.
I'd like to know more. How does this deal with masks? 
This work is by Saya Woolfalk an artist of Japanese, African American and European descent. She cites her background as an important springboard for her work. In her conceptual work for ChimaTek Woolfalk proposes a new technology that allows visitors to transform into hybrid creators known as "Emphatics." This new technology is rooted in the traditional Mende mask however, which many of the characters wear. As you may have read in the wall texts Mende masks are worn and performed exclusively by women, which is very uncommon in African masking traditions. 
Were the Heiltsuk and Kwakwaka'wakw people cannibals?
No, they were not historically and are not today.
If cannibalism was a form of death, was eating meat of other animals as well?
Not especially, no. The objects you see are used in ceremonies as a symbolic representation a person being reborn by entering the next stage of his or her life.
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.