Skip Navigation

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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.

What is this?
Vereshchagin painted a series of twenty paintings about the Russo-Turkish war that started in 1877.
This is like a before-and-after pair: thousands of Turkish prisoners of war froze to death while being marched from Plevna to Russian prisoner-of-war camps on the Danube River in the dead of winter. Vereshchagin watched the men collapse out of weakness. It's a strong anti-war statement, influenced by the artist's eyewitness experiences.
You are right, the shape of those trees is very interesting! In his landscape paintings, Diego Rivera focused on plant life and terrain that were unique to Mexico, and he created a contrast here between the harsh rocks and dry trees and the soft, blue sky behind them. The word "copalli" refers to a species of tropical tree whose resins (like sap) are used for incense, varnish, and ink. Their fragrant incense, in particular, was used for ceremonial purposes in pre-Columbian Middle America -- so Rivera was making a reference to Mexican history and heritage.
Are these colors as they would have originally appeared?
These colors are in very good balance, and show a close palette to how they originally would have appeared. However, time and the elements have certainly darkened the colors a little. And, the addition of beeswax, often used by the artisans to preserve the painting pigments, would also have darkened the colors over time.
As you move around the Egyptian galleries you'll see many reliefs and sculptures that originally were painted in bright colors and on some the faintest trace of pigment still appears. It's nice to imagine how colorful and bright the temples and tombs used to be.
Who painted this picture and why?
This work was painted by the American artist Randy Dudley. It's a contemporary landscape painting of a site in Brooklyn called Gowanus.
The Gowanus Canal?
Exactly! It's near our other gallery of landscape paintings, but this work is a little different. Instead of painting a traditionally beautiful location, he painted an area of Brooklyn where there was a bad oil spill. At the moment, there is a huge effort to clean up this site, but at the time when he painted it (1986) it was still really dirty. Contemporary artists often utilize traditional art forms to depict current issues. If you walk all the way down this gallery to the end, you'll see another really cool contemporary piece that addresses landscape painting in a new way. It's by Valerie Hegarty, and it may surprise you!
Why is the girl hanging/fainted on the horse in this picture?
The artist, Charles Deas, has taken the typical 19th century novel narrative of the "damsel-in-distress" and brought it to the American frontier. The man on horseback is rescuing the woman from the fire that is sweeping across the prairie. She may have fainted from the smoke, or perhaps just from the shock of the situation! It's a very dramatic scene. Eastern urban audiences were interested in the dangerous aspects of Western life in the 1800s, and artists like Deas gave them the vicarious thrills they were seeking.
What is she cooking? Is she a servant?
In this scene, the woman is not a servant, but the lady of the house. We can guess her status from her clothing and jewelry. She is making preserves (jam, for example) from all the fruits on the table, and she has molasses in her spoon.
As you can see described in the label, the woman pictured here turns from her work to engage an unseen person in a playful flirtation. As the title suggests, if the interloper tries to kiss her, he will receive a dousing of molasses (a brown syrup that's a by-product of refined sugar) from the spoon in her hand. It was a time when a woman's place was definitely in the home, and Spencer's art usually showed idealized or humorous domestic scenes. Ironically, her own life was different! Spencer was unusual for her time: she was the principal breadwinner of the family, making a living as a professional artist. 
How in 200-300 BC were they able to carve/mould gold so well/intricately.
That's such a fragile and beautiful object! There were craftspeople dedicated to very specific materials and tasks -- they would create the finest objects for the royal courts and other elite individuals. Gold specifically, is a relatively soft metal and therefore pretty easy to work with/shape. These pieces of gold are beaten into such thin surfaces -- truly amazing craftsmanship.
Is this tree real?
No, the tree is not real, although it does incorporate real wood over a steel infrastructure.
Other materials like polyuerthane foam and clay were also used in this sculpture.
I love this work. What can you tell me? Can you tell me more about the context of how this work fits into the context of his career?
"Opalescent Vertical" by Ilya Bolotowsky is a nearly monochromatic work of straight lines and pure forms inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.
The artist belonged to the American Abstract Artists Group, which was founded in 1936 in New York City, at a time when abstract art was met with strong critical resistance.
Also, the American Abstract Artists Group is one of the few artists’ organizations to survived the Great Depression and continue into the 21st century. We also have a mural by Bolotowsky near the Cafe -- it was commissioned by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to help the country's artists overcome the financial struggles of the 1930s. That work is slightly less geometrical and uses more color.
I like this work! Why is the model holding pearls?
We don't have any information about the specific piece of jewelry Madame Tallien is holding, but pearls are a material that has long been loaded with symbolism in Western art. According the the Victoria and Albert Museum's 2014 exhibition on pearls: As rare and delicate luxury items, pearls have been a symbol of wealth and status since antiquity. In medieval Europe, for example, they appeared both a symbols of authority on royal regalia, and as attributes of Christ and the Virgin Mary, thus symbolizing purity and chastity. By the 18th century pearl jewelry demonstrated high social rank and tended to be worn in a seductive manner, while in the early-19th century (when this picture was painted) more intimate pearl ornaments (like the one shown here) conveyed personal messages of love or grief.This portrait is intended to show the elite status of the newly-wed Princess of Chimay (formerly Madame Tallien) and possibly to clean up her reputation (since she was a divorcee on her third marriage!) The pearls' traditional symbolism helps with both these goals.Showing Madame Tallien holding a delicate string of pearls may also have given the artist an opportunity to show off his skill painting her elegant hands.
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.