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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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
ASK App ASK Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.

Please tell me more about the significance of this figure.
It is a figure of "Victory" and was cast from the fourth version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth—the first black regiment raised in the North and best remembered for its assault on Fort Wagner, North Carolina, in 1863.
On dedication day of the original memorial in Boston in 1897, Booker T. Washington proclaimed that "the full measure of the fruit of Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will not be realized until every man covered with a black skin shall by patient and natural effort, grow to that height of industry, property, intelligence and moral responsibility, where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade himself by withholding from his black brother any opportunity which he himself would possess. Until that time comes, the monument will stand for effort, not victory complete."
Why did the ancient Egyptians snap off the hippo statuette legs before putting them into tombs?
That's a great observation and excellent question. Powerful icons were placed in tombs to serve specific purposes for the journey to the afterlife. The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken.
How much of the rationale for commissioning a painting such as this was to establish a claim to the tradition of European wealthy families?
Yes, the rationale behind many of the paintings in that room of American Identities was to establish (or reinforce) an American elite class by using the art styles and symbolism of wealthy European families or European royalty.
You may have already read this in the label, but "The artist based the backdrop, and details such as the pose and the dog, on British royal portrait prints that decorated colonial homes as museum posters do today." There were no art academies or museums in the colonies at that early date, so artists could only study and learn from reproductions. Most of them were self-taught.
Thank you. It's interesting to consider how much of the impetus to commission art was an economic claim versus trying to show that the subject (or his child) wasn't a backwoods hick as his European trading partners might have thought.
Proving oneself to the Europeans was likely also an impetus.  If you could look wealthy/sophisticated/smart in portraits displayed for your trading partners, you can essentially "fake it till you make it"!
Many visitors find the rough or almost self-trained style of depicting the figures in these early American portraits to be endearing. It is interesting that so much emphasis was on the setting, clothing, and symbolism, but the painters hadn't quite figured out how to paint the human form or faces realistically yet.
It is real sugar?
The sculpture itself is made out of resin, but those little brown speckles you see are real brown sugar that has been coated on the sculpture.
The original version or this sculpture WAS made out of sugar and was installed in the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn last summer!
What is on her face?
Great question! The dots were made intentionally as beauty marks, which were quite popular at the time. The dots are small circles of black velvet or other fabric that a woman would temporarily paste onto her skin. In the 18th century, they were thought to enhance the wearer's beauty.
Why the images of their foot are not the same? These are also different from Egypt.
Hi--thanks for using the ASK app today! That's an amazing observation and the reason their feet differ is because certain feet represent humans and others represent supernatural beings.The feet on the textile are actually the only reason the curators know how to differentiate the figures! The textile comes from Peru, and yes, it is very different from what we see in ancient Egypt, where the statues and paintings seem to have two left feet. 
What does the bird represent in this painting by Sano Di Pietro?
In Renaissance religious painting, the small bird often shown in baby Jesus' hand is the European Goldfinch. It can symbolize the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. However, the goldfinch took on a deeper meaning following the plagues of the fourteenth century as a symbol of healing and redemption.
What's the difference between a stool and a tabouret?
A stool and tabouret are essentially the same thing: a low seat without a back or arms, meant for one person.
What type of wood and paint is used in these?
Cottonwood root is the most common wood used in kachina figures. Another wood sometimes used is pinon wood.
The type of paint most likely varies, depending on the age of the piece. The newer the figure is, the more likely that the paints are commercial paints (purchased), but in older pieces, the colors were made from plant and mineral pigments.
These lamps look like normal lamps, why are they in the museum?
These are over 100 years old and they were the original lamps designed in this style, right here in New York by Tiffany Studios.
They were made all by hand, from individual pieces of glass, and no two were exactly alike. This was a new technique at the time making a lampshade from stained glass.
The company was established by the son of the Mr. Tiffany who founded Tiffany & Company (jewelry!).
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.