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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.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Explore our permanent collection or a special exhibition on a guided group tour led by one of our friendly and experienced Museum Guides, or on your own with a self-guided group tour. These tours are for adult groups with at least 10 people, last about one hour, and can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your group.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

Also on the Third Floor: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
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
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ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

We're committed to making our galleries and facilities accessible to everyone.

  • We are fully wheelchair accessible. Check our online and printed floor plan for details.
  • If you need a wheelchair during your visit, they're available for free at the coat check in the lobby.
  • Companions of people with disabilities are admitted for free.
  • The parking lot behind the Museum is fully accessible. There's a free, 15-minute grace period for pickups and dropoffs.
  • If you need an assistive-listening device, they're available for free at our Admissions Desk, on the first floor.

We also offer a wide range of services for our visitors of all ages with special needs.

  • For those who have low or no vision, guided visits that include verbal descriptions can be scheduled for both adult and school groups, with advance notice. We also offer Sensory Tours, monthly public tours designed to accommodate and engage both sighted and non-sighted visitors. Verbal descriptions of collection highlights are available via Art Beyond Sight.
  • For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, American Sign Language interpretation for both adult and school group tours can be arranged, with advance notice.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities or other special needs, we offer specially tailored guided gallery visits to adult and school groups.

We hope that you'll get in touch with us via email or at 718.501.6229 if you have questions about any of the above services, or if you'd like to make advance arrangements.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

No matter what your interest, there's a tour for you:

  • Join our Museum Guides for daily public tours (free with admission) focusing on a variety of themes, eras, and movements in art.
  • Book a group tour for ten or more adults.
  • Explore tours and programs for school groups, all designed to help students and teachers construct meaningful experiences with works of art.
ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

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

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

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

By Subway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Transfer to 2/3 from 4/5 (at Nevins Street) and B, D, Q, N, R, and LIRR (at Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center). See a subway map. Make sure to check with the MTA for any service changes, especially on the weekend.


By Bus

The closest bus stops are:

B41 and B69 at Grand Army Plaza

B45 at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue

Check with the MTA for the most up-to-date bus information.


By Car

From Manhattan:

Brooklyn Bridge; left at Tillary Street; right on Flatbush Avenue for about 1.5 miles to Grand Army Plaza; about 2/3 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at the first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue). Or: Manhattan Bridge enters directly onto Flatbush Avenue.

From Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, or Connecticut:

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough) to Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE); Manhattan Bridge exit to Tillary Street; left onto Flatbush Avenue and proceed according to the directions from Manhattan.

From Staten Island and southern or central New Jersey:

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Gowanus Expressway (Route 278 towards Manhattan); exit to 38th Street; left on Fourth Avenue for about 2 miles; right on Union Street; 5 blocks to Grand Army Plaza; go 1/2 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

From northern or north central New Jersey:

George Washington Bridge/Holland or Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan; follow directions from Manhattan.

From Long Island:

Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson Parkway; exit at Bushwick Avenue; left at third traffic light to Eastern Parkway; about 3 miles to Washington Avenue. We're across intersection at left.


Parking

On-site parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays there's a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5 p.m.


Bikes

Park your bicycle at the racks behind the Museum, next to the Sculpture Garden. Bikes are parked at your own risk; we don't accept responsibility for vandalism or theft.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
ASK App ASK Team

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
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.

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Here's what people are asking.

I'm wondering a few things: what are the mole-like spots on her face? Why does she look so somber? Also, is there any significance to her choker and the ruby and diamond ring on her right hand?
The spots on her face are called chiqueadores and were essentially false beauty marks. They were in vogue in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. They were used to enhance the wearer's beauty but also for a more practical purpose, since they could hide scars or blemishes caused by smallpox.
If you look around that gallery at the other portraits, you will probably notice that most people depicted there have the similar sort of blank, disengaged stare. This was simply a stylistic choice of the time. Painted portraiture was eventually (in the later 1800s) replaced by photography and if you see very early black and white photographs, you will notice also that no one is smiling or laughing! Very different than what we practice in our "selfies" today!
Rococo fashion at this time was very elaborate. The detailed pattern on the dress and elaborate jewelry would have been in high fashion.
During this period, jewelry was usually handcrafted---gold was hammered before artisans began working with it---and gold was often worked into ornate forms (this brought to mind her necklace). Also, chokers were in fashion in the 1700-1800s, as were oval shaped rings. By putting herself in these various jewels and fashionable styles, the sitter was telling anyone who saw this portrait that she was a woman of status who had beautiful things.
What's happening here?
These objects all come from the Decorative Arts collection and have been placed within the American Art wing to show how vases like this, notice that they feature Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, may have been put on display in an elegant early 19th century American home on a table like that one.
What is this?
That sculpture was created by a female sculptor named Malvina Hoffman. She made a series of portrait heads of African women during her travels there in 1928. It is titled "Martinique Woman" and it's a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.
What the heck?!
The hands are by a Louise Bourgeois who often shows interest in the human body, surrealism and sexuality. These hands are actually modeled after her own hands.
How might the decoration style of this room reflect the anti-immigration policies of the same time period that limited immigration of people of Asian cultures/eastern cultures in general to the U.S.?
Actually, this room is furnished in what is called the "Moorish Style," which is characterized by the architecture and decorative arts of the the "Moors," Muslim inhabitants of north-west Africa and, between 8th and 15th centuries, of southern Spain.
This style in the West was popularized by someone seeking an eclectic style, something Mrs. Arabella Worsham was definitely interested in. So although it may look like the style is characterized by a more Asian style, which it is often confused for, it actually comes from the Near East and India.
There is another room from her home in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
What's the significance of how blurry and faded everyone's face is?
What a great question!  I don't have an immediate exact answer. However, based on looking, and seeing how Larry Rivers uses paint throughout the painting, I would argue that it is not a remark on the significance of the figures, as their faces have areas with some detail, even more detail than other areas of the painting.
I come from Texas originally, so I think about the heat and how hazy and disconnected it makes people during the summer months. I did notice, though, that some of the people have a lot more detail than others (like the couple in the foreground versus the man in the right in the background).
That's a great point!  And considering the effect of heat on the figures is an interesting connection and juxtaposition to the Florine Stettheimer painting titled "Heat," where the figures have a hazy and languid presence.
Where is that piece?
It's on the same wall as the Rivers, just to the left of it. I've been looking more into you question to find out if there is any information on who the figures are in the painting. I'll get back to you if I find anything relevant!
Excellent! I'll go back down and take a second look. Thanks!!
Amazing! Do you know what year and where the piano was made?
I don't know about this one specifically however, the instrument-type was invented and patented by Johan Christian Dietz in 1814.
The instrument is lighter than a piano and could be easily moved around the room, perfect for the entertaining the Milligan family would do in their lovely parlor!
Does this painter have other paintings that don't have to do nature?
Like other Barbizon School painters, Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña mostly painted landscape scenes of the Forest of  Fontainebleau outside of Paris, some of which he livened up with gypsy figures. However, he also painted works designed to respond to popular 19th-century taste—oriental, mythological, and historical genre scenes, nudes, flower paintings, and fêtes galantes. Although the two works we currently have up by Diaz de la Peña are landscapes of the type he's most celebrated for, we do have a few portraits and allegorical scenes by him in our collection. But, none of those are on view right now. You can see them on our website later if you are interested.
Could you tell me about the artist's background?
Certainly. Arnold Bocklin, was one of the most celebrated and influential artists in central Europe, particularly Germany and Switzerland, in the later 19th century (even though he spent a great deal of time in Italy). He mostly painted scenes from Classical Mythology but depicted them in really imaginative, idiosyncratic and often dark ways. He is associated with Symbolism, a late 19th-century movement in art and literature that rejected the rationalism and materialism of modern life and the realistic description of the natural world in favor of pure subjectivity and the expression of an idea through poetic language, symbolic images, and formal means like color and line. The femme-fatale, death, eroticism, the occult, the diseased and the decadent were popular subjects and themes.
What is the meaning of the small-scale human depicted in such an overwhelming landscape?
Many visitors and art historians have theorized that it may symbolize the vulnerability of humans and the awesomeness of nature. Although, this was originally intended to be a landscape with the myth of Pan chasing Syrinx Bocklin chose to omit those figures.
What is the most important object in this room?
Arguably, it is the concealed bar in the corner, which has the most interesting history. The small bar, with etched glass walls that salute France, is hidden in the corner in defiance of Prohibition, which forbade alcohol consumption in the United States from 1919 to 1933.
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.