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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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.

Are these real signs?
They are a mix of paintings by Stephen Powers, signs created by the ICY SIGNS team, and reappropriated signs collected by the artist. The artist is also creating new works in the rotunda, which are also on display.
Is this 6th century mosaic completely original?
This is one of several mosaics that were excavated in the 19th century from the synagogue of Hammam Lif and they were all found in relatively good condition. According to our records, some restoration was done around the edges, especially the left. The work was probably done with original tesserae though.
Thats amazing, why isn't it more protected? I'd be paranoid about people touching it!
I'm glad you're so concerned with the artwork's well-being! To be honest, stone mosaics are pretty resilient. We do of course encourage visitors not to touch the art to help preserve it and there are guards in place to help with this encouragement.
Cheers, thanks for the info!
Why is this in here? It seems out of place.
For the Museum, it's important to include a Native American perspective in the "American Identities" galleries.
Yes, of course! As it's from New Mexico, so many of the objects in this specific space are from the East Coast. Although, I think I saw some portraits from South America before. I guess the galleries have artworks from all across the Americas but at the same time period?
Yes, exactly! Our curators decided to bring together works from different geographical locations in the Americas, in different materials and categories (paintings, furniture, etc.) and bring them into the same space. This encourages us to think about unexpected similarities across cultures.
Did Gerrit Dou always paint on such a small scale?
Although this tiny portrait, it measures only 6 x 5 inches!, is one of Dou’s smallest works, he specialized in small-format paintings, whose details and surfaces even more carefully observed and meticulously rendered as they are here. Dou became the leading figure among the Leiden "fijnschilders" (fine painters) who continued the earlier Netherlandish tradition of meticulous description and superb craftsmanship.
"Fine painters"?
In Dutch, that word literally translates to "fine painters," and refers to the Dutch Golden Age painters who were interested in depicting a natural reproduction of reality, often interior, domestic scenes.
Oh! Thank you!
Of course!
Are there any more Dutch Golden Age painters in the museum?
Frans Hals is considered among this group. You can find a work titled "Portrait of a Man" not too far on that wall from the Dou. It is a portrait of a man looking out at the viewer and he sits within a frame painted on the canvas.
In which his hand sticks out of the frame?
Yes!
Why is that?
Hals is using a form of trompe l'oeil painting (to fool the eye). First used by classical Roman painters, it was taken up by Renaissance painters in the 15th century. Usually, this effect was used when part of the subject of the painting extended beyond the frame as you see here. It catches the eye of the viewer and is a moment of illusion. Is it real or part of the painting? Trompe l’oeil often shows off the artist’s skill as this form of convincing illusionism is hard to achieve.  It also brings several layers of meaning to the painting, drawing attention both to the subject of the painting (the man in black) and the the object of his affection (the miniature portrait he extends), perhaps that of his wife or fiancee.  Frans Hals uses it as a device in many of his paintings, so be on the lookout for it when you see his works in other museums!
Oh, cool!
Yes, it's fun to pick up on! If you enjoy the Dutch Golden Age painters I would suggest a visit to The Met at some point. They have a few rooms dedicated to them and the works are absolutely amazing.
I will! Thanks!
Any egg tempera paintings? 
Oh, let me look into that! Are you an artist? I have found that artists are often interested in materials.
Sort of! I just came from the library and saw some really amazing egg tempera paintings.
Many of the religious paintings in the Beaux-Arts Court, where you are, were painted with tempera. In the Renaissance-era, tempera was mixed with egg and that material practice has been used actually since ancient Egypt through the Renaissance until it was eventually replaced with oil paints.
Oh! Awesome! Why was it replaced?
Mainly because the effects that can be achieved with oil paints are much greater than with tempera. Artists could achieve more color, depth and contrasts with oil. Oil takes much longer to dry allowing the artist to continually make changes and add layers of color.  The surface is often brighter.
What is this handle for? 
I'm so glad you saw that, no one ever notices that handle and it's so cool! The maker of this bed, John Henry Belter, was an German-American craftsmen and created 4 different pieces of patented furniture, this bed is one. The patent for this bed, dated August 19, 1856, boasts that it can be disassembled easily in case of fire and that its construction eliminates the intricate joints and recesses around the individual parts of ordinary bedsteads, areas "notorious as hiding places for bugs." That handle helps the person disassemble it!
Oh! Wow! Haha, you'd just pull it?
Pretty cool, right? There are other versions of patented furniture on view on the 5th floor in the Luce Center, if you want to see more. The patent states that it is made in two pieces, my guess is that the handle we see would detach those pieces from each other.
Oh! I wonder if it was a bother though.
I'm sure it was, if you ever had to actually take it apart. I often find early patents somewhat funny. We have a chair in the collection that transforms into a step-stool by pushing a lever. However, it doesn't look as simple as the paper patent makes it seem. I think these were just very early solutions to problems but they were definitely revolutionary in their time!
What are the red things in the glasses?
They are faux-cranberries. That set of glasses were for jellies or other sweets. This dining hall is set up as if an afternoon "rout" were taking place. A rout was an afternoon party where liquor would be served, you can see a punch bowl to the right.
Fancy! I do, it's a huge punch bowl!
The Brooklyn Museum purchased the downstairs woodwork of the Cupola House on February 11, 1918. There is no record of furniture being purchased from the house at this time. Instead, the rooms are now furnished with individual pieces from the Brooklyn Museum's collection that would have been appropriate to an American home of the early- to late-18th century, primarily in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles.
Ah!
Yes, this is a common practice as it is actually pretty rare to acquire original furnishings along with a room! It's more likely that a museum will have individual pieces from various acquisitions to use. If you are interested in a period room with original furnishings, see the 20th-century Weil-Worgelt Study or the 19th-century parlor and library rooms.
When you say purchased the woodwork, are those original rooms?
They are, indeed. The woman who owned the house could no longer afford it and at the time, the early 20th century, museums were sending curators out all over the country to acquire period rooms for their collections.
The owner of the Cupola House, strapped financially, sold the downstairs woodwork of her home (the paneling on the walls and floors) to a dealer and the Brooklyn Museum then bought the wood from that dealer. I should mention though that the staircase is not original, it is a reproduction created by a contractor from Edenton, the town where those rooms came from.
That's a pretty cool touch. It felt like I was really there.
I agree, it makes it feel so much more authentic.
Can you tell me more about The Root by Lynette Yiadam-Boakeye? There's not much information on the label.
The artist was born in London in 1977  and has won multiple awards for her art, namely  in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Turner prize. She has stated, specifically about this work, that what is happening is up to the interpretation of the visitor.
She says that the titles of her work never relate to a specific narrative but instead for the visitor to think of them as an extension of the work, not as an explanation. She paints quickly, often completing most of a canvas over the course of a day and she does not paint from models. Is there more you would like to know?
That's very interesting. I once heard that she is either very interested in jazz or has some connection to jazz. Am I making that up?
No she is totally interested in jazz, you're right! Actually, that takes me back to titling her works. In that same statement that I pulled from previously, she mentioned that she loved Miles Davis and said "He puts titles to things, even though his music is instrumental. You see the title, and you feel it in the sound of the music."
Oh, that actually really helps make concrete the thing you said before about titles!
Oh, great! Glad we could pull those two together haha. There is a great 4 minute video on YouTube about Yiadom-Boakye from the 2013 Venice Biennale where she talks about her work, if you're curious.
YES! I'd love to see that. I'll search for it, thank you so much.
Of course! Enjoy and please let me know if you have more thoughts or questions.
This "Sansa Chair" by Cheick Diallo takes a mix of traditional and contemporary ideas about chairs as leisure objects or symbols of status. Did you have a particular thought or question about it?       
Hi Megan, can you talk more about the materials of this chair?
Hey there! Sure so the chair itself, the inner structure, is made from steel. The steel was then wrapped in the red nylon you see.
I see. I love the aspect of a "grid", the geometric forms.
Me too! I am always so tempted to sit in it! The Arts of Africa curator was able to sit in one of Diallo's chairs once, he said they're comfortable for a few minutes and then not so much, haha.
I feel the same every time I see chair like this one. Haha for example, the Red and Blue Chair, by Gerrit Rietveld. I love the colors, the lines and everything, but it seems a little uncomfortable, I wish I could sit on it one day!
I so agree! It's funny how over time the creation of chairs moved from very practical and uncomfortable in the 1600s, to extremely tufted and full of fabric in the 1800s and then more 'modern' designers, like Rietveld, seem so much less interested in comfort. We have a Rietveld chair on display on the 4th floor.
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.